Today’s gospel reports, rather matter-of-factly, that John the Baptist, upon hearing about his disciples leaving him to join Jesus, responds with the now famous statement: He must increase but I must decrease. Unfortunately, we don’t know if this was as effortless as it sounds, or whether it came at the conclusion of an inner struggle. This possibility is hinted at later in the Baptist’s life when, from prison, he sends disciples to inquire of Jesus if he is truly the Messiah—clearly John wasn’t sure. I suspect that a struggle preceding his famous words would not take away from his holiness, but actually allow us to identify with John more closely. Just as bravery does not exclude being fearful, so a surrender to Christ only after a struggle, does not necessarily tarnish holiness, but serves to glorify God. After all, Christ’s agony in Gethsemane witnessed to his own unique struggle to do his Father’s will. Therefore, let’s not be discouraged by our struggles in following Christ; though they may seem to hold us back, they may actually be preparing us for a greater weight of glory.