Follow Thou Me

Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following. . .Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what [shall] this man [do]? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee? follow thou me (Jn.21:20-22).

I have two children, and with them, the joys and headaches that are a very real part of parenthood. As I watch them, I am still amazed by their persistent worry over the concerns of the other. One of them seems to always be worried about what the other is doing, or saying, or getting that may in some way not be fair to his or her self. The concern is generally selfishly motivated and seldom bears two-way thinking. That is to say, they each concern themselves when the other is not doing what they have been told to do, yet they do not readily become concerned over their own wrong doing.
While that seems like something that we all are very aware of already, we (just as children) often still do not apply such ideas to ourselves. We sometimes observe the acts of others and quickly begin to question and criticize. This comes very natural to us. After all, we have been practicing such biased evaluations since we were tiny children.
What comes to mind here is probably summed up in the word, "judging." And though we know we are not to sit in critical judgment of others, and are not to stand around questioning, "what shall this man do?" this is not where our focus shall be at this time. For we are aware that we are to, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment"  (John 7:24).  If each of us are honest with ourselves and were to request of God to, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts" (Psalms 139:23), I believe we would be able to sense in our spirit whether our judgment is righteous, being for the sake of another; or whether it is a critical, self-motivated judgment.

Peter questioned what God would do with John. He may have been coveting what God would do with John, envious of what seemed to him a better "hand being dealt" to John. Or perhaps he felt that what God gave himself to do would be tedious and trying, somehow feeling unfairly treated compared to John. Maybe Peter was just curious. Nevertheless, Jesus' response was "If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee? follow thou me."
Each of us have an individual relationship with Christ. Each relationship is developed within, and based upon, our uniqueness in Christ. To try to make your relationship with God be a mirror of someone else's relationship with God, is to try to force it into a mold it was not designed to fit. You can no more have that exact same relationship as you can actually be that other person. To try and do so is to kill some of the living characteristics that makes what you alone have with God unique.

The only way we can experience God's power, love and design for our lives is to follow the path He has given us uniquely. God doesn't want us to try to be spiritual giants, He just wants us to faithfully and fully follow him. What that means for me may appear very different than what it means for you, yet it means that all of us are to be obedient to God's personal, and unique call on our lives.


Day by Day Devotionals: www.daybyday.org