Follow the Leader
Imagine the delight of amateur photographer Brent Cizek when he was able to capture a picture of a common merganser with 56 ducklings following her in a line! He posted his photograph of the ducklings on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota on the Internet and became the center of attention of the National Audubon Society and thousands of other people who were "wowed" by his pictures. The president of the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union, Bob Dunlap, explains that it is common for waterfowl to lay their eggs in the nest of other birds. All the birds together are called a "creche." He says, "It's more like a day-care thing." The fledglings come under the care of one lead bird.
Since his original photos were taken, Cizek has returned to the Lake to take more. In one image, there are approximately 76 ducklings. Dunlap expects the ducks to stay together until they migrate in the fall. In my opinion, Cizek's best picture is the one of the mother merganser paddling across the lake with all 50-some babies following her in a straight line. These babies are smart enough to know that they must follow their leader for she will take care of them.
Life becomes much easier for us when we follow the Lord, our leader who gave us life and loves us. He will lead us on a path that brings us to our intended destiny. King David wrote about this in Psalm 27:11. "Teach me Your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path." The writer of Proverbs describes how to trust the Lord to lead us. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Father God gave the Israelites instructions on how to prosper. "It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.” (Deuteronomy 13:4) "If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth." (Deuteronomy 28:1)
In John, Chapter 10 of the Bible, we have a discourse on The Good Shepherd and His sheep. "...The sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." (John 10:3-4) Jesus is our Good Shepherd, the one we need to follow because he takes us on straight paths. "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:14-17) "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish..." (John 10:27-28)
What a promise we have if we follow the Lord! He encourages those who follow Him through the Psalmist: "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:6)
Joan E. Mathias