Last winter, one of our middle school students died from influenza. As a result of that, there has been a push to get as many children immunized as possible this year. Our school, understandably, was selected as an immunization site. Parents could sign their children up to be vaccinated right on site.
Earlier that morning, I had told my students that a number of them were going to get their flu shot. Our time would be right after lunch. I would pick them up from the lunchroom as usual (we have recess first) and then we would go straight to the auditorium. This was how things were supposed to work anyway.
Lunchtime is a bit chaotic at our school. We have classes coming in from recess and others leaving to go out for recess. We're a k-8 school so there is always a lot of coming and going. Thirty minutes for recess and lunch is actually a pretty tight schedule for the kids. Actually, the teachers think it's a pretty poor schedule but this is the norm in many schools across the country. I could rant about the loss of recess time, inadequate time for eating and it's impact on student behavior for hours. Oh well.
When I appeared, children scurried about trying to get in the last few bites, cleaning up and lining up. I headed off looking like the Pied Piper. I had 28 children trailing behind me. The problem was, we were going to the auditorium instead of the classroom. We had to head out a different door today. My line of children carefully weaved their way through the students who were pouring into the lunchroom for their lunchtime.
It's pretty easy to keep an eye on me. While I'm not tall by any means, I do tower over most elementary students. Also, I'm large and I'm the woman sporting the boy-cut. I sort of stand out in a crowd.
Four students weren't paying attention. They forgot the directions and they weren't following me. Four students followed the wrong class out of the lunchroom. Four students returned to a locked classroom and wondered where everyone else was. Four students showed up breathless at the auditorium. "We couldn't find you!"
I looked at the 24 students who were with me. I looked back at them. "That's because you weren't paying attention and following me."
I was thinking about this incident this morning. I was in the right place at the right time.They were not because they weren't paying attention. All they had to do was keep their eyes on me and follow me.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 (NKJV)
Am I watching others instead of Christ? Am I paying attention to where others are going and following them instead of Christ? There are a lot of voices out there. I need to listen carefully for God's voice. There are a lot of people going in a lot of different directions. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus and follow him, even if I think we should be going the other direction. I need to remember that God knows exactly where He is leading me and He knows best.
Pay attention and follow the Leader!