It hit me as strange & wonderful. I mean, that's not usually something people sing about. When was the last time you heard someone get up in church and burst into tears, praising God, because they're so pumped that some people are leading and others are following? But... it also makes absolute sense. Whenever things work "like they should," in this broken world, that's a miracle! God gets praise every time the rain waters the earth, every time animals bring forth babies, every time the earth rotates cleanly one more time on its axis, because that means the Curse has NOT utterly won!
And what is more unnatural than the right people stepping forward to lead, and the rest of them happily, willingly follow instead of griping that they're always just shuffling along at the back? That's usually more how it goes. But go back to Genesis, and you realize that there's nothing that SHOULD be more natural! The rest of Creation falls in order way better than we do, with our smart big brains (and bigger pride).
I thought of all the leader-follower relationships, and realized that there HAVE BEEN many times when I gave thanks for something similar: when I see dads or moms, & their kids all loving & respecting each other; when godly elders or deacons are ordained by a loving congregation (I was in tears the entire ordination service at Immanuel 3 weeks ago!); when a team works well together, united behind its leader(s); when an orchestra follows perfectly its conductor, himself following the music's composer, and the result is a gorgeous symphony... Most beautiful, I think, though is the relationship of a husband and wife. I say that's the most beautiful because it's meant to reflect The Ultimate Leader's relationship to His Bride. What man ever took more initiative at a higher cost to Himself to lead, to rescue? [how's THAT for a standard for manliness??] And what wife has ever followed more delightedly, and sacrificially than the church, watered with the blood of the martyrs? We haven't followed nearly as perfect as He has led-- but one day, we will!! (Rev. 21)
I can sort of make this personal, because I am deeply thankful for the relationship God's brought me into, with a man who is actively pursuing godly leadership, and I really WANT my relationship with him to be characterized by that beauty that comes from "as it should be." [and that desire doesn't just apply to dating relationships!] I'm really enjoying watching this work out! Ryan hasn't exactly died for me, but I'd say baking gluten-free-from-scratch-blueberry-muffins in an un-aircondioned kitchen (you know how gas ovens heat up!) in the Louisville July heat comes pretty close to defining "sacrificial!" [And Rob (his roommate) is one of my heroes now, too, as he got nothing but hot kitchen out of it.]
Seriously, I know our relationship isn't, and won't be perfect by any stretch-- because, let's face it-- this relationship was doomed to flaws the moment I stepped into it! But...because God is so good, and so generous with His grace, He lets even the less-than-perfect enjoy the benefits of obedience!... "But He gives us more grace..."
For any who are wondering what the heck I DO with Ryan, here are some fun pictures from last Saturday, when he came over to the Shueys' (I was staying the weekend with Sina & the kids while Dave was out of town for a wedding) for dinner, and then we went to Seneca Park for dessert! We had a very sweaty time, lol-- climbing trees, playing frisbee, and then jumping on the trampoline, all with the kids.
Jenna started licking the top of the ice cream container! Little girls and ice cream: something else that just "fits."
John, enjoying our gluten-and-lactose-free scruptiousness-- apple crisp & vanilla ice cream!! Oh, it was SO good! One fresh from the oven, perfectly cooled off by the equally-cold ice cream. Another beautiful relationship, lol. ;D
Morgan took this one-- that's as high as Ryan & I went, and it's a little blurry. But it's fun. =D Didn't you ever wish you could be a squirrel??...I've been on this computer long enough!
Here's Christina [most recently dubbed 'Boss' by Jack, and 'Maiden' by Toto] in Louisville, signing OFF.