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“How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man’s city?” Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation
In our last post we asked the question, “Who are you following?”
Where are they taking you? Do you want to go there?
Once you identify who or what you are following, the next questions are: “Where is he or she taking me?” and “Do I want to go there?”
Many golfers and sports enthusiasts followed Tiger Woods, where did he leave them? Many investors followed Bernie Madoff. Where did he take them? Many young people follow Lady Gaga. Where is she leading them?
In my work as a Crisis Intervention Specialist with children and teens I find that they are not very good at looking way down the road to see where their choices and behavior are taking them. If we have chosen to follow someone or something we need to look further down the road to see where we will end up on our current path.
Francis wanted to go where the footsteps of Jesus took him.
In the 12th century, when St. Francis of Assisi lived, people followed noblemen, the pope, knights, and crusaders. St. Francis went against popular convention and followed Jesus.
When Francis followed in the footsteps of Jesus his path took him from the comfy environs of his wealthy father’s home and business and the nightly parties of his band of young revelers in Assisi, to the halls of the leprosarium, to ramshackle huts by Rivo Torto, to the poverty wracked neighborhoods of Assisi, Perugia, and Spoleto, to the death-filled Crusade camps in Damietta, to lonely precipices on Mt. Alverna.
But everywhere he went, Francis found Jesus and inexpressible joy. Even in suffering Francis found “perfect joy” because Jesus was with him in his suffering.
Francis wanted to go where the footsteps of Jesus took him because there he found Jesus, and with him peace and joy!
Who are you following? Where are they taking you? Do you want to go there?