A little boy and his father go for a walk in the woods. Before they begin their adventure, the father leans down to the little boy and says, “Son, walk with me.” Setting off down the path, the father begins to point out some of the wonders of the forest. “There is an oak tree. That one is a maple tree. Look at the squirrel running across that branch.”
At first the little boy stays close to his father, holding his hand. Soon he becomes overwhelmed by the wonderful things he sees. Letting go of his father’s hand, he rushes off the path to retrieve a huge pine cone. With a big smile on his face, he brings it back to show to his father. “That’s nice son. But you need to walk with me.”
As the two turn a corner on the path, something up ahead catches the boys attention. Again, letting go of his father’s hand, he rushes forward to see what it is. When he gets to the object, he discovers a snake coiled up in the path. At first, he is curious about the snake, but then the snake hisses and strikes the air. The little boy becomes frozen with fear. He flinches as he feels his father’s strong hand rest on his shoulder. The father gently moves the boy out of harm’s way, picks up a long stick and scoops the snake off into the weeds. “Son, you need to walk with me. You don’t know what might be ahead.
After a while the little boy begins to get tired. He starts lagging behind his father; his little legs unable to match the long stride of his dad. Looking back, the father says, “Come on son. Catch up. You need to walk with me.” The little boy stops in the middle of the path. “I’m tired. I can’t go any farther. Carry me!” Lovingly the father scoops up the boy and puts him on his shoulders. Together they continue their afternoon adventure.
As this little story illustrates, there is a difference between having Jesus walk with us and having us walk with Jesus. At the end of the Great Commission, Jesus made a promise to us. “And I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” Jesus is faithful in walking with us, but we are not always faithful in walking with Him. If we are going to walk with Jesus, there are a few things that we need to do.
If we are going to walk with Jesus, we need to adjust our pace to His pace. Like the little boy, we sometimes get impatient and want to run ahead of Jesus. On other occasions we get weary and lag behind. Jesus is constantly calling us to stay close to Him. As Paul says in Galatians 5:25, Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
If we are going to walk with Jesus, we need to go in the same direction as Jesus. Too often, we want to take our own path and not follow Jesus’ lead. We rush here and there, looking for some treasure, some delight, some new experience. Patently Jesus waits for us, then calls us back onto the right path. When Jesus called His first disciples, he issued a simple invitation. “Follow me.” He says the same thing to us. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
If we are going to walk with Jesus, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Children get separated from their parents and get lost because they get distracted and wander away. We often get distracted and wander away from Jesus. We need to learn to keep Jesus in sight at all times. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3
There is no doubt that Jesus is walking with us. The question is, are we walking with Him?