Saturday, September 22, 2007

What we may be

“We know what we are, but not what we may be,” said Shakespeare. Tutors in life have a great impact on what we’ll become, and teachers take many forms.
Media, text books, experts, parents, pop stars, Hollywood —- all shapers and molders.

Not all information received is helpful. Destructive models abound, but there is one trustworthy teacher who can lead each person to a higher standard.

Not too long ago, a Muslim clerk asked me if I wanted to buy a lottery ticket. When I responded that I don’t gamble my dollars in the Texas lottery, he asked me if I was a Christian. He told me Allah didn’t like gambling either.

Then he said to me, “This Jesus of yours, I admire him.” Many non-Christians admire Jesus, his justice, his connection with the common man and his hands-on-compassion, and he is recognized as someone to emulate.

What if each person who thinks highly of Jesus decided to become a student and imitate the ways Jesus loved his neighbors. Throughout his ministry, he conversed, helped, and touched those who are often shunned —- those with too many problems.

We sometimes avoid communicating with folks who are drowning in difficulties. It’s easier to not let them into our lives than to embrace them and their plethora of setbacks.

But those with seemingly unsolvable problems, Jesus readily drew into his life. He ate with the hated tax collectors and allowed a prostitute to wash his feet with her tears. He chose Judas, taught and loved him even knowing that he would betray him.

Jesus spoke about his life mission in simple statements: he came to seek and save the lost, and he came to do the will and goodness of God. Good teachers and role models -- there’s always room for more. Far too many lemons are getting into the limelight with lewd lyrics and gyrations that would make Elvis roll over in his grave.

The Lord spoke these words to and through Jeremiah, “If you extract the precious from the worthless, you will be my spokesman” (Jeremiah 15:19). The world needs extractors, workers who are taught by the Master to esteem the precious and recognize the empty activities of life.

Shakespeare said we don’t know “what we may be.” Jesus said if you follow me, you’ll be my hands in this world. He encourages sorting, sorting through the world’s junkyard and mining the worthwhile.
If you are sick of ungodly role models, follow Jesus, become more like him. Read his story. Live out his character. Purpose what you “may be.” He will even come along side of your everyday life and help you mine the world for human treasures.

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