I continue to be struck by the phrase in Luke 22.54 about how, seeing Jesus arrested, Peter followed Him at a distance.
That's always the safest bet, isn't it? Or it seems that way. But consider...
1. Jesus gets no (or little) glory from my following at a distance. I am the light of the world in relation to Him being the Light of the World. Like a mirror, I'm only as bright in my reflectino as I am close to the source of the light. And if I'm not close, I cannot let my light shine before men, no one will see my good works, and no one will glorify the Father in the heavens (Matt. 5.16).
2. What gets passed on to those around me, and in particular my children who are close enough to me to compare words and actions, is some sense of "good enough." This much is enough, and no more is needed. No one passes on a passion and excitement for the Kingdom of God with a "good enough" posture of faith. Again, I'm thinking primarily of my kids. It's through the commendation (praise!) of God's works that the passion gets passed down (Ps. 145.4-7).
3. Stuff either (a) doesn't get done or (b) I don't get to participate in it. The "greater works" (John 14.12) Jesus wants me to do are not done or someone else does them. I know the blessing and satisfaction of being in on seeing God move. If I'm safely at a distance, I do not know that blessing and at best live vicariously.
4. I have no satisfaction. If Jesus truly is the Bread of Life and Living Water, I have to be close enough to Him to eat and drink (in a sense) to find that "whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst" (John 6.35). The satisfaction that Jesus promises does not happen and cannot be laid hold of at a distance. The interactive intimacy of relationship with Christ is the place of satisfaction.
There may be more, but it's something I'm pondering these days.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...