Are You Making Tracks or Following Footprints?

Are You Making Tracks or Following Footprints?

By their very nature, leaders are out in front, making tracks for others to follow. But is this the full story for Christian leaders? Let’s take a look.

Our leadership team was praying about how we’d been forging ahead in a project when God suddenly hit the pause button. As I prayed, I pictured our footprints in the snow. They came to an abrupt halt, and there were no footprints in front of them. Just a snow-covered path. I prayed, “God, You stopped us in our tracks. Thanks for Your wisdom in doing that.”

A team member picked it up from there, praying, “God, we just want to follow You. We want to place our feet directly in the tracks You’re making. We want to be so close to You that we’re in step with You. Help us to stretch when Your steps are wider and to slow our pace when Your steps are closer.”

Her prayer reminded me of the song “Good King Wenceslas,” written in 1853. You’ll want to read every word; especially the bolded sections. Think of Good King Wenceslas—the sire and monarch—as your good King, the Lord Himself. And think of the servant—the page—as yourself.

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,                                          When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.

Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,                                When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou knowest it, telling,                                              Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”

“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,                                    Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me food and bring me wine. Bring me pine logs hither.                                   Thou and I will see him dine when we bear them thither.”

Page and monarch forth they went, forth they went together,                      Through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now and the wind blows stronger.                                 Fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer.”

“Mark my footsteps, my good page; tread thou in them boldly.                          Thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted.                                          Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.

Therefore, Christians all, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,                                            Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.

*From the original work of John M. Neale. Adapted for young readers, by Tim Ladwig—also the illustrator.

3 Questions for You

Think of the top-level projects you’re engaged in right now. Ponder these questions with the Lord:

  • Is there tangible evidence that you are following in His footsteps? If so, what is it?
  • What level of peace do you have regarding these projects?
  • Are you aware of the warmth of the Lord’s presence and the wisdom of His guidance?

If your answers to these questions reveal that you’re in front of the Lord—where it’s cold and scary and uncertain—adjust yourself. Talk with Him. Repent of anything He shows you that’s off. And carefully follow His lead. Leaders who follow in the Lord’s footsteps move forward in His presence, wisdom, and pace.