I know I’m 11 days late in posting an inspiring New Years blog like everyone else. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking, praying and wrestling with what, no who, I want to be at the end of this year. Oddly enough, traveling to LA, Edmonton, and Denver to spend time with 3,000 students in the past two weeks helped clarify some issues for me.
Like most of us, I began a list of possible resolutions. First, there are familiar practices and disciplines I want to keep doing, such as reading through the Word cover-to-cover in every even-numbered year, early morning wilderness prayer times, keeping a journal and working out. Next comes the stuff I could cut back on: less TV, web-surfing, ice-cream and judging people without fully hearing them out. Finally come areas in which good friends, including the Holy Spirit, have expressed in some way that they would like me to grow: increasing kindness, lighten up, pray more, travel less. The list could go on. And, like a good Pharisee or North American evangelical, I could put a list out there that I could make progress on through the year, probably without a lot of dependence or faith.
This year I’m taking a different tack. If less is more, then this is going to be a very fruitful year. I am distilling my resolution list down to obeying two simple words: “Follow Me.”
These past two weeks I’ve watched hundreds of students stand, kneel, come forward or sign their name to some type of pledge. The essence of the pledge is really simple: “Jesus, because you as the one true King possess all authority and deserve all glory, I will go wherever you want me to go, do whatever you want me to do, say whatever you want me to say, and give what you want me to give. I kneel before you this day and surrender my heart to follow you.” Pretty simple, eh?
In a culture impassioned with worship bands and mesmerized by popular personalities, these students have cut through the chaos to express the true meaning of the word worship. Life is an altar and I am the sacrifice.
Lord willing and Spirit empowering, at the end of 2008 I would like to echo the words of the old hymn: “Jesus led me all the way.”
Lesson for aspiring leaders: To lead well we must continually relearn how to follow.