Looking up into the oak tree that my children climb reminds me of the huge maple that my big sister and I spent many hours in when we were younger. I can still remember the formation of some of the branches – the forks, the different angles. I can still visualise where I needed to hold and where my bare feet would rest.
I wouldn’t have been able to climb the tree without my sister. She had gone before me. She knew the way, the tricks of the climb, and how to know if a branch was dead and dangerous. She was my guide: my ‘fore-climber’.
The Bible talks about Christians who have gone before us, sometimes called ‘forerunners’. Some of these are in the Bible, others are scattered throughout history, and yet others are more experienced Christians that we know today.
We need forerunners (or fore-climbers!) They show us the way, pass on tips and advice, they’re examples for us, and they help us to see danger. Jesus of course is our ultimate Forerunner, the perfect One that all other forerunners are following. We can be greatly helped by seeking out forerunners, of both the living and gone-to-be-with-Jesus sort.
Climb well . . . and watch out for dead branches!!
– by E.M. Harding