I never followed Jenny because I had to do it.
Sure, she was a gale force when she didn’t get her way, and she was so much stronger than me when we ran and played together. I can still close my eyes and see her perched at the top of the swingset or running so fast that if she had fallen she might have exploded into a thousand pieces.
I also knew that her role in any game we played was determined by her. I had my opinion and I was always Princess Leia when I played at home, but Jenny got to be leading role (even if she had never seen it before #IwasrightaboutStarWars).
I didn’t even follow Jenny because of her fierce love for me or because she demanded it.
I followed Jenny because wherever Jenny went there was adventure. Wherever we went together I was going to experience laughter, imagination, newness, and change. There was a story to be made with each soup we created in the backyard, every scene we added to the Star Wars (then trilogy), and every quiet night lying in my trundle bed (heads can be split, brothers can wake to go the bathroom, and insomnia and steroid sleeplessness can happen in the middle of the night).
While I am sure that Jenny was in it for the moment which was her adventure. I was in it for now. I was in it for the story it would be, for the piecing together of every moment into this fierce lady friendship, for a “wither thou goest, I will go” friendship. I wanted the story, and that was my adventure.
I have followed Jesus for many of the same reasons. (Don’t worry. I understand that Jenny is not Jesus.)
I watched it play out over and over in scripture this way too.
God is stronger, and daring. He does things effortlessly that you or I could never do ourselves. You’re walking right along and all of a sudden He’s healing someone or changing your path.
Moses followed a burning bush God. David followed a giant slayer. Noah followed a big boat builder. Paul followed a blinding light.
God also orders each of my steps. Unlike Jenny, He has the ability to use my the steps I didn’t mean to take or even the ones that turned from Him.
God also loves me more than Jenny (which at times does not seem possible), and he has a plan for me that I do not get to refuse.
But my heart has always followed the adventure. I want the story. I want the “I know longer call you slave. I call you friend” story.
I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I follow like Peter. I step out… I fail… He rescues… He gets my back to dry land. I follow Him for the story, but sometimes the story scares me.
True adventures don’t have plans. They don’t have rules that trump the experience. Finding that balance is a struggle. I want to step out of the boat and do something I cannot do on my own, but I still want to be in control. I want the fun, but not the flailing. I want the water walking, but not he fear of drowning. I want the adventure.
And as I am drawn by the adventure, I fall in love with the Adventurer. He is more than I imagined Him to be. And as I follow, I learn that I would sit beside Him through a quiet eternity if the adventure was taken away completely.
But follow the Adventurer, I do, and I find that adventures don’t have set plans. Adventures don’t have me in control.
Adventures will always put me in a place that requires my reliance on Him.
May it ever be so.