Walk with me

Walk with me. . . yes, but who are you following?

I recall some years ago when I was at a retreat in Kerala, India. The Spirit-filled preacher was all fired up. Nothing could have stopped him from preaching the truth of God’s word. He was empowered to deliver a message that was hard hitting to those who were resisting. To those open to the Word of God, there could be a moment of grace to be convicted and converted.

At that moment, I heard what seemed like something so new to me. I had not even thought of this point. The preacher challenged the young people to look at the Lord Jesus and to stop worshipping idols. Who were these idols? None other than the pop stars, the movie stars and all those whose pictures seem to occupy every available space in a young person’s room or personal space.

I looked back to my own school days and wondered if I had ever been so caught up with the rich and the famous. Yes, I did like some pop groups and would sing their songs, with my ears glued to the top ten for the week. There were not that many distractions then and listening to the radio was one of the few past times we had. I did not even have money to buy song books and so, to get the lyrics, I put my ears to the test. I would listen to the song each time it was played. Soon I had compiled my own song book. Thank God for exercises in listening comprehension!

Later on, I even learnt that the same pop stars whose songs I enjoyed might not live in ways that everyone would approve of.  So, much as many of us enjoyed their music, we were cautioned against their life styles.  Without the current access to social media and thus availability of their personal lives and other news, we were in many ways protected and certainly sheltered. Not so today.

A young person who liked an idol could end up trying to dress like that idol, to look like that idol and even to pretend to be like the idol. Extremely impressionable, young people might not even be aware of their way of imitation. Sometimes the idol worshipping goes really overboard.

So we come back to the question: who are you following? I was told that this is a threatening question. It would be since it challenges one to look beyond the superficial. In many ways it is a question that challenges us to sit up and take stock. It can also be threatening because we may not want to make any changes and we are contented to be as we are. Then again, it  will not be enough to just name the one we are  following. What is crucial is also the understanding that one has, and so the point is, one needs to know the reasons and also the ways as well.

Walk with me. . . yes, but who are you following?



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