Follow me where I go, what I do, and who I know
Make it part of you to be a part of me
Follow me up and down, all the way, and all around
Take my hand and say you’ll follow me
Good old John Denver could put a conversation in a song with the best of them. Leaving on a Jet Plane, Annie’s Song, I’m Sorry, and Goodbye Again come to mind. But the greatest of these is Follow Me. Why, you say?
Because a few years ago this then skinny, bearded, white tux wearing young man found occasion to sing it to his sweetheart. That occasion just happened to my wedding. And Lisa smiled through her nervousness and seemed to enjoy the song and the invitation. Funny thing was we immediately jumped into my car and I followed her as she set off to be all that she could be.
I suppose a hymn would have been a more appropriate choice for a church wedding. But I was young and didn’t know better. Besides, nobody seemed to mind as I picked up my guitar, looked into Lisa’s eyes and sang from my heart. Those two kids were about to follow each other on one more journey with about as an unknowable beginning as one might imagine. And for the record; it’s still a lovely ride.
Any reading of the gospels will reveal to us that Christ’s most common invitation sounded a lot like that song. He sang it to James and John, Andrew and Peter, Matthew, Phillip, and the less known Nathaniel. “Follow me,” Jesus said. And that call was often all they had to go on. For those would drop what they were doing and radically reorient their lives, the rewards were great. So too, was the cost; never easy, always worth it.
You know, maybe I did lift a hymn that day, or at least the spirit of one in another context. I can see Jesus with his arm extended and his scars a showing. “Take my hand and say you’ll follow me,” He asks. Are you ready to say “I do”?