Following from afar

« Peter followed him from a distance » Mark 14:54

We've all done it at some point in our life – follow Jesus but « from a distance ». Sometimes, like Peter, we are afraid of the consequences of following « too closely ». Sometimes, we just aren't willing to pay the price of following with the same sacrifice as the One who sacrificed it all. Peter, just a few hours before this had vowed all-encompassing devotion to Jesus saying he was ready even to lay down his life for the cause. But with the arrival of soldiers, the kiss of betrayal, the night, the fatigue and the ensuing confusion, his feet took flight, fleeing to save his own skin while Jesus actually paid with his life the price of fully following His Father .

Yet still he follows from afar. I guess it's true that he could have just left altogether. But I wonder if staying in the shadows, watching but following from a distance is any better in reality than not following at all.  When questioned concerning his true allegiance, Peter swore up and down that he was no follower.  Perhaps his feet following from afar caught up with a heart too that followed but only from a distance.  All I know is that his regret was great as he sobbed his soul out, sorry for not following his Jesus wherever he went, whatever it cost.

This thought of following close or following from afar causes me too to consider what distance have I placed between me and my Jesus.  Following really only works up close and personal. God, may you enable me to distance myself from everything that would put distance between you and me.


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