Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
So went my early lessons in hiking along mountain trails - some of them lazy saunters; others a steep assault (mostly on my calves & shins).
I learned, and continue to learn a good many things from and about nature, and much of it in the context of hiking. What a teacher is all of God's creation. But the whole pacesetter thing has stirred anew in me. It is good to set pace, but it's only good so long as you know you've got a rear guard!
It's counterintuitive to allow the slowest, or the weakest in our midst to take the lead and establish the pace. In families, in business, in schools, in life in general we often (if not always) take the brightest and best, setting them at the forefront to establish the lead. That's not all bad, for surely we need our role models - - unless, of course, they are attempting to leap tall buildings in a single bound, expecting those that follow to do likewise.
Steep, high, rough terraine is rarely scaled in a single bound.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Today I am wondering how often, and in how many ways I've taken the lead with younger ones in tow, expecting them to keep up with - even comprehend - the rigors of the climb ... my climb ... any climb?
Pacesetting is never more critical than when there's a weak one, or an unseasoned one in the equation.
Jacob said to him (Esau),
“My lord knows that the children are tender
and that I must care for the ewes and cows
that are nursing their young.
If they are driven hard just one day,
all the animals will die.
So let my lord go on ahead of his servant,
while I move along slowly at the pace
of the flocks and herds before me
and the pace of the children ...
(This bundle of thought derived from my reading on January 3 in Volume I Streams in the Desert.)