This morning, I stand at our church’s back door, which, in the way of church building extensions and add-ons, often functions as our church’s main entrance. More than once, I’ve directed unsure visitors looking for our church office to this less obvious entrance.
From this out of the way main doorway, I watch the ministry of leading across our church’s campus this morning.
Toddlers are led by their preschool teachers to the playground. Each child is holding a loop on their walking rope, the teacher slowly leading, her helper following and helping escort the children to their play.
At the same time, older adults, led by their children or spouses, slowly and carefully make their way to our church’s Family Life Center, where the morning respite program for those with early-stage dementia and their caregivers is underway.
Slow and steady, disciples young and old make their way.
There are times and places when and where I break down and ask someone for directions. What a relief it can be when that person says, “It will be better if I just show you the way myself,” as I follow their lead.
I have friends with limited vision or faltering steps who take hold of my hand, as I and most of us may need to grasp a guiding hand at some point along the way.
Come the times and places, the promises to claim and the predicaments to overcome, when we all need reliable leaders and their leading. And there are times when we must take an anxious or unsure hand and show the way, patiently and with no undue haste.
God may call on us to take the lead, and the goal of this ministry is not to “lead people on” but to help others onto the path of righteousness, a life lived well with God and one another.
This ministry of leading is central, crucial, to our walk in the Way. Thus, disciples of Jesus Christ find themselves praying humbly and daily and earnestly: Help us find our way. Help me/us/him/her/them find the Way, your Way, O God.
We all need leading, even our leaders.
O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me… Psalm 43:3