Job 9:1-12,14-16; Ps 88 let my prayer come before you, Lord; Luke 9:57-62
We continue to read from the book of Job. In today's segment, Job finds his voice, he finally speaks up. This is Job's second time to speak up after his friends tear into him.
The first time job complains. He just complains a lot. Go read chapter 6 and you will find comments such as, "for the arrows of the Almighty are in me, and my spirit drinks in their poison" and much more.
But now we find job with a different sentiment in his mouth. Here after his second friends commentary, Job stands differently; he begins not with complaint but rather with praise. Here is a man who has lost everything and with every reason to complain and shake his fist at the heavens he dug deep within and he formulates a litany of praise to God, "God is wise in heart and mighty in strength...he alone stretches out the heavens..."
It is praise rooted in the reality that before God no man is justified. No man can stand on his own merit before the Lord. In this reality check can praise truly begin to be authentic and healing as it becomes for job.
In the gospel today we hear the words of Jesus, "Follow me."
What is this but an invitation to learn, to watch, to keep close attention. It is a pathway of apprenticeship. Only in staying behind Jesus can we truly know him and love him. Only in staying behind Jesus can we actually begin to imitate him in our own lives. The best perspective is always from behind.
True leaders in faith are those who never take over the driver seat but refer the back seat and let Jesus drive.
What excuses do we use to keep from following? What excuses do we come up with to justify taking the lead?
Like with Job, praise resounds the greatest when we lean in from behind and stay close to the footsteps of the one who calls out "follow me."