Your mission is to deliver a twofold message that will not only convince your followers that they made the right decision to follow your lead, but reassure them that it is not their fault should many choose to ignore your advice and never escape the death trap of the blizzard on the mountain. All of your experience in trail blazing and survival goes unheeded by most of the crowd. Some will trust your judgment.
Others will suffer, and some will die. Even some family members of those who will follow you will be lost in the storm. Tough decisions will be made and loved ones will be separated, possibly forever. Survivors will need to know that they should feel no guilt, regardless of who survives, and who does not. All will have the option to accept your solution and leadership, or reject it. The choice is theirs.
Jesus had a similar dilemma when he spoke from a boat to his followers as they stood on the shore. He used the analogy of a farmer spreading seed. Some of the seed would fall on a path and be eaten up by birds before it could take root. Some seed fell on rocky places and began to grow, but when the heat rose, they were lost because their root system was too shallow to enable them to survive. Some seeds fell among thorny bushes that eventually overpowered the plants. But some of the seeds fell on good soil, and a wonderful crop followed.
A follower asked Jesus what it all meant. Jesus explained to him that while all will be given the message of salvation, only those receptive to it would accept the gift, and then understand. And even some of those who understand it will lose their faith when Jesus’ enemies begin to persecute them. Some will be pulled away because they choose to worry about not being popular or financially successful. But the seeds that fall on good soil will be very fruitful. They represent the ones who actually “hear” the message being delivered. Why did they hear? Because they actively were seeking God’s will. The Holy Spirit enabled them to understand. They were receptive and trusted Jesus.
So the bottom line is this: If you are a teacher, a leader, or a even a survival specialist in a mountain blizzard, remember that not everyone is going to believe you, regardless of your credentials.
If someone ignores God’s advice and their actions lead to hardship and despair, it is not your fault. You did your best to guide them, and that is all you can do. The rest is up to them, whenever they choose to have a relationship with God. Love them. Be there to show them how the relationship can start. But remember, it is up to them to be receptive to His love and guidance. Not every seed falls on good soil.
On what type of soil are you spreading your seeds? What type of soil are you?
(The Parable of the Four Soils: Matthew 13: 3-8, Mark 4:4-8, Luke 8:5-8)