By Donna Tobin Smith
“Oh no,” I groaned to myself. I was on my way to school, taking my usual route, having left home at the usual time. But as I looked down the same road I travel every day, I could see that something was very unusual this morning. I wish I had given myself extra time for the “unexpected”. But I didn’t. So, of course, I had not one extra minute to spare.
The road was completely blocked. A big red fire truck had parked itself across my path, clearing proclaiming to me that I was not getting through. It had been windy the night before and although I couldn’t see past the barricade, I could imagine power lines or trees blown across the road. I knew the barrier was for my safety, but I couldn’t help but sigh at the inconvenience of it all.
It was decision time. Unfortunately, there were no signs to point me to an alternate route. I began to give myself a pep talk. I could do this. I knew that there was another road parallel to this road. Now if I could just find it, I knew that I could find my way to school.
There were two cars ahead of me. Maybe one of those cars is going where I’m going, I thought. It made sense to turn right, so as the other cars made the turn, I followed. I was feeling pretty good until I saw the fork in the road ahead. Left? Right? Wouldn’t you know? As I watched one car go left and the other car turn right, it was time to make my own decision. Without a moment’s hesitation, I steered my car to the left. I wasn’t sure, but it felt right. Before long I came out on a road that I knew. Just in the nick of time, I pulled into the parking lot at school.
As I walked across the parking lot, another teacher fell in step with me. “Thank goodness I saw you this morning,” she said. “I was behind you a few cars and happened to see you when the road was blocked. I followed you. If it hadn’t been for you, I don’t know if I could have found my way to school. I don’t know the back roads in this area.”
I looked at her wide-eyed and speechless for a moment. If she only knew, I thought. Should I tell her how unsure I had been? We had made it to school safely and on time. Would I have made different decisions had I known that she was following me? I certainly would like to have been more certain of my way.
But I had no idea that she was even behind me. It made me wonder who else is following me. Who is watching as I stand at the crossroads of life? Who sees my reaction to frustrating situations? Who notices my response to the storms in my life? Am I making the right turns in my spiritual life? Am I leading anyone down the paths of righteousness?Would anyone want to follow my example when it comes to Bible study and prayer?
In Luke 6:39, Jesus said “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?”
I hate to admit it, but I felt a little like the blind leading the blind that day. My teacher friend had trusted me and, fortunately, I had not led her astray. But it made me take an honest look at who I may be leading. Jesus warned us against spiritual blindness. It is so important that we regularly identify the people and the things in our lives that can blind us to the gospel truth and lead us away from God. It is equally important to live a life worthy of leading others to Christ.
I recently gave my oldest son some advice about traveling in South America. “Watch your back,” I told him. “You never know who may be following you.” Now that I think of it, that is pretty good advice for all of us every day.