Good questions, dear friend. I've been pondering them all week.
And as I sit here at the near-end of a week of rain, listening to music to fill the silence in my empty house, worn from a week of late nights and early mornings, trying not to think about how I miss my friends, overwhelmed with a hundred responsibilities, it's a little hard to see the light as I usually do. But I can say one thing with confidence.
For me, following God's steps means two words. Or actually, four:
Caring more. For healing.
More than is comfortable. More than is convenient. More than is necessary. More than others have. More than others will, or could, or should.
And yet, just caring isn't enough. You can care, and break. You can care, and wound. Horribly. And then it is better not to care at all.
So true caring must be always focused on healing. And that means receiving everything--every heartthrob, every touch on the shoulder, every smile, every tear, every note on the to-do list, every e-mail, every meeting, everything--from the ultimate Healer. Because as people, we are the Wounded. And without Him, we wound.
But praise God, with Him, we can heal.
What happens when I follow? Loneliness. Exhaustion. Emptiness. Sure. You read my third paragraph. But so much more. So much more. When they don't fill (because they never do), He does. Sunsets and stars. Full moons and foggy mornings. Flowers in the fields. Cool breezes. Storms sweeping down across the lake. Thunder and rain. So much beauty it literally hurts. Richness.
And, ultimately, a dream of the certain Victory to come. That's what it means.