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Blindly Following
Photo: Lindsey Bergquist
I truly didn’t mean to do it, but when I saw the sign, “Welcome to Canada,” I knew I’d made a very wrong turn. Recently, my family made a trip to the Northeast United States, and on our way back we decided to have a look at Niagra Falls first hand.

After a terrifying trip over two large bridges, I entered the city and began following the signs that simply said “Falls.” Each one contained an arrow which I blindly followed. Everyone else seemed to be confidently moving forward, so I stayed with them. It wasn’t until we were in three lanes of traffic that I realized we were extremely close to entering Canada, a place where I didn’t want to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problems with Canada, it’s just that I wasn’t prepared to make a trip there on this sunny afternoon. I didn’t have the proper documentation for my family, and we had someone else’s kid in the car with us; but it was too late to turn back. We just wanted to see the rushing water and feel the cool spray of Niagra Falls, but by following the crowd we ended up in another country!

After customs, questioning, and about an hour in the humidity, I vowed to pay more attention next time. It’s funny (although I saw no humor in this particular occasion), how such a little thing could’ve caused such a hassle…just to get turned around. All the unfortunate time-wasting transpired that day because I chose to follow the crowd.

Stinging Rebuke

As I manuevered our mini-van back over the bridge to the United States side of the Falls, I could almost hear the “bleating” of a familiar woolley white animal. I thought of that verse in the Bible that says, “We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost” (Isaiah 53:5). The trip into another country was a stinging rebuke that I should have looked at a map instead of following the crowd.

Embarrassing? Yes! Exceptional occurance? No! When I explained my situation to the woman at the booth on the “States” side, she calmly replied; “You and about 50,000 other people this year.” It made me feel strangely better to hear her utter those words, but it did nothing to redeem the time that was wasted in the hot sun.

Following the crowd to Canada only wasted about an hour of our time, but when we choose to follow the crowd in this life over spiritual matters, it can have eternal implications. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it right, and blindly following can lead us somewhere that we never planned to go.

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the THE MESSAGE / REMIX ®.

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