Years ago, I heard the story of a young woman who wanted to go to college. Her heart sank as she read the question on the application that said, “Are you a leader?” Being honest, she answered “No” and sent in the application. Weeks and weeks went by with no responses to her submission and, slowly, she began to expect the worst. Finally, after much worry, she received the following letter from the university:
A study of application forms reveals that this year our freshman class will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel as though they should have at least one follower.
"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You are not in the driver's seat—I am. Do not run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I will show you how.” – The Message
From childhood, we are trained to be leaders. “Do not conform to the masses”, they say. “Stand your ground!” “Do not be a follower!” “Do not fall to peer pressure!” If only our culture taught us that, our greatest position in life, is not one of leadership, but submission.
Our God commands a following. He is the leader. He is the only leader. How often we try to guide our own lives and lead ourselves. How often we cry out for power when we realize that we have none. If you really think about it, are there any who follow nothing? The greatest leaders in our world, the very ones who exemplify guidance, even they follow something. It could be a deity, it could be an idea, and it…could be…a faith. The path will never be greater than the one that comes after Him.
I suppose that, sometimes, it is hard to remember that we must first become a follower before God can lead.