Monday, April 6, 2009

Be a Leader: Only "Follow" Jesus!

Last week, my mother was telling me to encourage my younger brother Kory when I talk to him. It seems, lately at school he has been following other little boys that are unruly. This is unlike my little brother because my parents taught him how to be respectful and a leader. This is something my parents instilled in their children from the beginning, "Be a leader and not a follower. If you must follow someone, follow Jesus!" Although my younger brother is only eight years old, there is no doubt that he should learn how to set an example for kids who misbehave. This reminded me of an experience I had about five or so years ago.

I went to Atlanta, Georgia for a weekend trip with a close friend of mine. I was so excited about going there and showing him around town. He was thrilled to go on the trip also because he had never been there. While we were there, it was a great stay. But, after church and as we were preparing to get on the road back to New Orleans, we were approached with a sudden serious situation.

I was driving on my usual route from church to my god-mother's house when suddenly I hear, "Kennisha, turn here, hurry up, hurry up!" My friend Eugene shouted in a state of panic. I had no idea what he was talking about, but his piercing voice of fear startled me and all I could think to do was turn exactly where he said to turn.

Moments later, two police officers stopped me and surrounded my car. I sat there in a state of shock. I had no idea why I was getting pulled over. I was driving the speed limit.

Well, I rolled my window down and the officer asked for my license. I politely gave it to him. He ran my license and then came back to the car to explain to me how evading a police office is a federal offense. Then, I heard him say something to me that I never thought I'd hear him say, "Ma'am, can you please step out of the car!"

Yes. He put handcuffs on me and in the back of the police car I went.

My friend Eugene had to follow me to the Police Station where I was finger printed and ready to take my mug shot. What a horribly embarrassing moment. I never thought I would hear jail doors slam with myself being behind them. It was a moment in my life where all I could do was pray that by God's grace he would get me out there.

Bail was set at $500.00. Though this is a small amount to many, to a young lady in her early 20s, this was quite a bit of money. I didn't have it and neither did Eugene. Thankfully, after five hours of myself sitting in the cell, my god-mother bought the money for me to get out. It was the worst five hours of my life.

What did I learn?

To be a leader and NOT a follower!

I should have turned around to find out exactly what Eugene was screaming about. Instead, I panicked and allowed myself to follow his lead and turn the car- as if I was actually evading the officer.

Also, let me add that God did show me tremendous grace in this situation. When I came back to ATL for my court date, the judge decided to throw my ticket out. I stood firm pleading not-guilty because I honestly was not evading the officer. And friends and local church members all believe that this was a racial situation given the reputation of that small suburban city outside of Atlanta. Whatever their intent, I just thank God for his grace on that situation.

It is so important that we are leaders and not followers. We don't have to do what other people tell us we should do- no matter how crucial they think it is.

If there is something you believe God has for you to do, do it! Walk in that thing boldly without worrying about what other people have to say. People will always have opinions. Just because your parents did one thing and became successful at it, it doesn't mean you have to do the same thing or that you will become successful at it too. God has a specific plan for YOU!

Following other people will only lead us towards a life we were not prepared for. But, when we follow Jesus, he will safely guide us on our respective paths.

Be a Leader, but if you must follow someone, Follow Jesus!

Luke 9:23 (NIV)
23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.


1 comment:

quietspirit said...

There is a valuable lesson in what happened to you. Sometimes we have to check things out for ourselves. Thanks for sharing this.