There’s a song on the radio called “I Will Follow” by Chris Tomlin. The song is about following God no matter where he takes us. After listening to that song, I began to think about what it means to follow Jesus in our every day lives, which then got me thinking, what does it mean to be a follower? Merriam- Webster defines a follower as a person who has one or more of these three characteristics: one in service of another, one that follows the opinions or teachings of another, and one that imitates another. I think the most powerful of all three of those characteristics, is one who imitates. When we imitate someone, we act in a particular way in order to be more like them. Our actions are powerful and God made them much “louder” than words for a reason. It seems clear that God wants us to follow him by imitating Jesus.
We can imitate Jesus in many ways, but I think we most resemble Christ when we give of ourselves. In the Second Vatican Council document, Gaudium Et Spes, it says, man “cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself”. If Jesus gave every last bit of himself for us, and we find our meaning in him, shouldn’t we do the same? When we give of ourselves like Christ, we resemble him in a beautiful and profound way. Everyday while Christ was on Earth, he was raising the dead, restoring sight, and giving hope to the poor. He gave all of his time, talents, and abilities so that his children would believe and have life. Like Christ, God has given every person gifts, abilities, and talents to share with the world.
As a student, I feel that God wants me to cultivate virtue, and develop my talents through academics. Through the knowledge and wisdom gained from studying, I can share what I’ve learned with those around me. Right now, I am a young, single, college student and I feel the best way for me to give of myself is through my studies. In the future, following Jesus is going to be different, as my vocation will most likely change from being single to married. If God leads me to the role of wife and mother, I will follow Jesus by giving myself completely to my husband and caring for my children. Each person has unique gifts, and that is why following Christ in this sense, is different for everyone. Though we each have different gifts, and our calling to give of ourselves is different for every person, we are all united by the one who first showed us what it means to give everything for God.
Through the gift of ourselves, we will follow you, Jesus.
Christ wants you to imitate him. What are your gifts? How will you share those gifts in order to follow him?