A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration. (John 6:2-4)
Relate: Did you ever have a shadow? Did you ever have that person who seemed to be there every time you turned around? You want to get some peace and quiet and the younger sibling just will not shut up with their pestering… “Why this? Why that?” You want to just tell him to shut up and leave you alone, but that doesn’t work. You’ve considered tying him up and leaving the brat stuck in his room. It is only the wrath of mom and how you know mom will kill you when she finds out… and she will find out, that spares his life.
Maybe it was that dorky kid at school. Once, just once, you felt guilty enough about how she was always picked on and you decided to be nice. Now she just won’t leave you alone. During recess she trails you around like a stray puppy. I hate puppies. She now sits next to you in class and in the cafeteria. It is like a heat seeking missile. Every free moment she seeks you out and her smothering presence is destroying your social life. She simply doesn’t know how to take a hint.
React: Now imagine that instead of just one shadow always underfoot, you have hundreds… thousands. Imagine that peace and quiet is a happy fiction in your daily life. It is a fond memory of days gone by. Imagine living your entire life under the watchful eye of the paparazzi. I am firmly convinced that a large part of the problem so many of our child stars have as they so consistently grow into dysfunctional adults is a result of their lack of privacy. The good news for them is that Jesus knew how they felt. He had His own paparazzi. He had those followers who would just never leave Him alone and in spite of the nuisance that they could be, He loved them. He led them.
So who is following you? Who is following me? Who is watching my every move and every word? Are we treating the opportunity as a nuisance? Are we trying to push them away? Or are we using it as a God given chance to advance His Kingdom?
God, give me patience with those who just won’t leave me alone. Give me vision to see the opportunities You are presenting me even through unwanted friendships. Help me to love as You love even those who seem to be nothing but nuisances. Help me to have a mentor’s heart. Help me to seek out those to whom You want me to invest my life into. As I follow You, help me to be a good leader for those who might follow me.