A teenager, Elizabeth, was nervous as she took the wheel for her first driving lesson. As she was pulling out of the parking lot, the instructor said, "Turn left here, and don't forget to let the people behind you know what you are doing."
Elizabeth turned to the students sitting in the backseat and announced, "I'm going left."
Though it may not have been understood properly, the instruction of the teacher was a valuable piece of advice: "Let the people behind you know what you are doing."
In Hebrews 2:10, Jesus is referred to as "the author of our salvation" (NKJV). The RSV, though, translates that phrase as "pioneer of our salvation" because the Greek word used in this verse ("archegos") was a word sometimes used for a pioneer or trailblazer who opened up a territory so that others could follow.
I love the Appalachian Mountains. When I lived in Boone, I often wondered what it would have been like in the early 1700's to cross those mountains -- no interstates, not even any dirt roads, just trees and bushes. There were mountain men who had braved the frontier, but there was no safe and reliable way to get settlers over the mountains. What was needed was for some brave man, a "pioneer", to open the west by finding the best mountain passes and building a passable road to the west.
The idea of the pioneer is an appropriate image of Christ. He went before us and opened up the way so that we can follow.
But you, too, are called to be an "archegos", a pioneer who blazes the way for others to follow. There are those who work with you and live around you who are looking to you as they struggle to find the way in their own lives. You may have children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and countless others who will be influenced by the legacy you leave behind. Choose your path carefully. And let the people behind you know what you are doing.
May we be able to say with Paul: "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." (I Cor. 11:1)