Monday, March 20, 2023

Who Are You Following?

 By: Joanne Viola

 Early mornings are my favorite time of day. As I said goodbye to my husband at the back door recently, we both spotted some deer in the woods out back. After he left, I continued to watch them as they are beautiful and majestic animals.

When they came out of the woods, I realized there were six of them and one was clearly the leader. In reading up on the habits of deer, I learned they are social animals, often traveling in herds. They are led by a dominant doe, so I was correct in observing that there was clearly a leader in this group of six.

The leader led this group through our yard and into our neighbor’s yard. As they moved into the front yard, the leader stood still near the street, watching, ears twitching, and very alert to danger. Only when she started to cross the street, did the others also begin to move once again.

And that is when it all became most interesting. Once across, the leader leaped over the wooden rail of the house on the other side of the street. She could have walked about two feet over to the right and not needed to leap, but she chose the straightest route and leaped.

And all the others followed suit.

Not one took the alternate route to avoid jumping the fence. Each one in turn, followed their leader. It amazed me to see one white tail after another jump the fence with such grace and ease.

The sight has stirred some thoughts …

  • Do we pause to assess a situation, or allow ourselves to become distracted by those around us?
  • Much like this small herd of deer, do we follow the crowd, or the leader?
  • Do we just take the shortest route to get to our destination or goal, or do we process our journey wisely?

Watching the herd of deer that morning brought one more thought to mind. It is important, imperative, for us to know whom we are following.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.”
(Psalm 23:1-3, NASB)


“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” 
(John 10:27, NASB)

May we know the One whom we are following. May we always hear His voice and go where He leads. He will always lead us to the places best for us. 


Who do you tend to follow the most closely?
What do you need to change so you follow Jesus more closely each day?


Photo by Tobias on Unsplash


  1. What a sweet, beautiful morning message God gave you - and with such regal visuals. (Is that one of your photos? I'm tempted to put a salt lick in my back yard just to lure the deer to photograph LOL). I immediately started thinking this was going to be about going through the gate - and I was left wondering why the deer didn't "take the easy way." Yet, the leader knows how to lead through preparing us for the moments we have to take "leaps" of faith - and your deer leader was doing that. I'm going to be looking out for the deer leader this Spring - and see if I can recognize it.

  2. I didn't realize deer traveled in groups with a leader. One thing I get from your illustration is being a good follower--waiting for the leader to assess the situation and make the next move. With us humans, there's likely to be a lot of voices and different opinions and disgruntledness when the leader chooses a different path than we wanted. A good leader listens, but there are times we just need to follow their lead.


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