Following is one of those words that is used quite differently these days than when I was younger. Oh, we still use it in the old way as in “who are you following in the race?” (Most of the time we say it with a distinctly ‘down home’ or Southern reference, as in “Who ya’ rootn’ for?”
We have followers now – on Twitter and Pinterest. (It can be a creepy thing to some to think this, but that’s we are are called!)
Jesus called the twelve disciples to follow him.
Joan Chittister’s book The Liturgical Year has been a helpful guide for me regarding Christian discipleship not just for the entire Christian year but especially for the season of Lent.
“Lent calls each of us to renew our ongoing commitment to the implications of the Resurrection in our own lives, here and now… Lent requires me, as a Christian, to stop for a while, to reflect again on what is going on in me. I am challenged again to decide whether I, myself, do truly believe that Jesus is the Christ – and if I believe, whether I will live accordingly when I no longer hear the song of angels in my life and the star of Bethlehem has grown dim for me… Lent is not a ritual. It is time given to think seriously about who Jesus is for us, to renew our faith from the inside out…It is the act of beginning our spiritual life all over again refreshed and reoriented.”
As I continue to follow Christ, I realize that mid-course corrections are necessary and essential. I understand this more clearly in a humorous way as I thought about the fact yesterday that our cat Hanna was needing a new bag of food because she certainly was not going to fast for Lent! Nor is my car (though tempting that is give the reality of gas prices these days) and so a trip to the gas station is in order today.
As I follow Christ, I have to make adjustments – relational, attitudinal, habitual kinds – and God has to make me stop and rest from time to time. Following has a rhythm and a seasonal nature to it. Lent, I am beginning to see, requires more than merely giving something up, it requires a letting go and a gathering in, a following and… a re-following.
These are my Thursday thoughts…