And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
The Gospel of John ends very intentionally where it began, with the command to "Follow me." It is a command, a challenge and an invitation uttered by a friend, a Savior and God. Because we have come so far with Jesus, we believe he is the Son of God and his word is life, all of our convictions, preferences, practices and habits urge us to go where the Master leads us.
Occasionally when I have taken long bike hikes I have wondered which route should I take home. I might have considered my options long before I got to the crossroad where I had to make that critical choice. Often, I found, having reached and passed that point, I realized I made the decision long before I got there. In fact, I hardly noticed when I came to that particular moment; my mind was elsewhere but the decision was made.
Another story along the same line: the husband said, "When we married we agreed I would make the big decisions and she would make the small ones. We've been married for forty years and I've yet to make a decision. Moral of the story: life is a series of many small decisions that add up to one fundamental choice.
A third parable: "I'll quit smoking tomorrow." means "I'll never quit."
As we approach the end of the 90-day Easter Season, which began with Ash Wednesday and ends with Pentecost, we realize we are back at the beginning. We are making the same decision again because it's the decision God has continually offered to us. In love we have always followed him.
We advance toward tomorrow with the confidence that the Lord will never abandon us. We might occasionally make the wrong choice and set out on the wrong road. He will nonetheless walk with us, sometimes silently, sometimes loudly, patiently waiting for us to stumble and fall, or discover we're lost, or come to our senses. At that moment we will certainly hear again, "Follow me."