After teaching a class at church this morning, I was taking a coffee pot down the hall to clean when I was pleasantly surprised to see my daughter-in-law Lauren and 18-month-old granddaughter Abby round the corner a few feet away. Within a few seconds, Abby reached for my finger and clearly wanted to walk down the long hallway. So we did. Then she wanted to go down the next hallway, up some stairs, to another set of stairs, across a pedway to another building, then down some more stairs – half empty coffee pot still in need of cleaning and still in hand.
All the while she had a good grip on my finger and a good grasp on where she wanted to go. We let her lead until we got to a point where we needed to direct her toward the parking lot. She was occasionally reluctant to go where we wanted, but a well-timed “Let’s go find Daddy” perked her up to come along in our preferred direction.
Since Abby is my granddaughter, she has standing permission to grab my finger and lead me wherever she wants to go – anywhere she wants to go and for as long as she wants to go unless there is danger involved or an unbending schedule demands less flexibility. She trusts me. I trust her.
In other relationships and scenarios, we need to be more cautious, though, in whom we allow to lead us so easily. There is no shortage of people around who want to lead – politicians, bosses, family members, friends, neighbors – even strangers who knock on our doors and ask for our support in some cause. Some of the above are worth following on occasion. Some are not. Wisdom and discernment are needed to judge the situation and the trustworthiness of the other people before allowing them to take us by the figurative hand and lead.
Not everyone is built to lead. Some only follow. Not all who are built to lead are worthy of following down the path they would take us. Be careful who you allow in that role in your personal and professional life.
Leap year lesson #266 is Be careful who you follow.