Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “The Cutie Mark Chronicles”
Odds are there’s someone in your life you look up to for inspiration. As Scootaloo and the CMCs demonstrate in this episode, for a lot of people there are individuals we “idolize”, seek to emulate, and look to the history of their own lives, whether they be contemporaries of us or long-since-dead, and try to make our lives more in tune with theirs. Christians certainly do this, attempting to emulate the Apostles, Old Testament leaders, Paul, and, of course, Lord Jesus Christ himself. But even if you’re not Christian, the world has no shortage of people to idolize and emulate.
On one end are pop singers, dancers, TV and movie celebrities, and the like. Then there are philanthropists, national leaders, politicians, businessmen and businesswomen. There are people who made milestones for their race or gender in workplaces, the political sphere, engineering and science, or the like. There are people who make great discoveries or insights into the world of science and astronomy, or technological marvels in engineering and architecture. There are people who win awards, whether they be Oscars, Grammys, or Nobel Prizes. There are athletes who break records either in national leagues or the Olympics. Poet laureates and world-renown artists. If there’s any sphere of influence or subdomain in the world, chances are there are people who are the “best at it” and are recorded in all of history to be the best at it. People that other people wish they were like and dream of being one day.
Back when I was in high school, however, I received a sobering quiz in regards to people who are award winners and celebrities…
Name the last five winners of the Best Actor Oscar.
Name the last five Poet Laureates.
Name the last five winners of the Nobel Prize (any subdomain).
Name five individuals who won Gold Medals at the last Olympics.
Name the last five NFL Hall of Famers to be inducted.
Needless to say, no one got all of these answers right. The teacher pointed out that these aren’t “Average Joes” or even people who are highly talented in their fields: they’re the best in the world at what they do. And yet no one remembers them after a short time. She used the example to indicate how glory fades, awards rusts and tarnish, and time only brings new individuals to break old records.
She gave another quiz soon after, however…
Name five individuals who helped you succeed in courses you were bad at.
Name five individuals who encouraged you to master new skills.
Name five individuals who made you smile when you felt sadder than you ever had in your life.
Name five individuals who inspired you to become who you are today.
Name five individuals who changed your life in a way you’ll never forget.
Obviously…everyone could ace this quiz.
Questions like this should help us all realize what is truly “worthwhile” and “honorable” in the eyes of God. In the Bible, when God sent Samuel to anoint the future King of Israel to succeed Saul, and he ended up going to the house of Jesse, he immediately spotted the oldest son Eliab and thought he surely had to be the one. After all, the eldest son in that culture was usually the favored one, and odds are he probably looked powerful and attractive similar to how Saul did. However, 1 Samuel 16:7 states God’s response. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” God doesn’t look for people to necessarily be the “best-of-the-best”. He desires obedience and faithfulness to his Will above all things. And just because we don’t always do anything “earth-shaking” like conquering armies or converting thousands or calling down bread from Heaven or whatnot doesn’t mean we can’t be the most important individual in the world to someone.
Where would Moses have been without his mother entrusting him to God to spare his life during the Egyptian massacre? Where would David have been if he hadn’t obviously been brought up to know who God was and his power and glory? What good would the end of the Babylonian Exile have done if there hadn’t been thousands of displaced Israelites who “kept the faith” for generations even in a foreign land surrounded by foreign gods where it would have been much easier to assimilate? Even if Paul “misapplied it” (to say the least) to begin with, someone had to have invested a large amount of time in driving him to be so well-read and versed in Scripture before he came to know Jesus. The act that Mary did that changed the world was agree to bear a child and raise Him as a loving mother.
We may never hear of most of these “unsung heroes” or countless others, like whoever was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s greatest influence in Church, whoever led preachers like D.L. Moody to Christ, or who inspired Martin Luther to not just go based on what authority was saying but look deeper in the Bible for Truth, but they all “laid a foundation on which another built”. And while what was built on top of it might outshine what was below, it would never have stood if not for that.
Whether it’s as a good parent, coach, friend, employee, brother, sister, or layman, we should all strive to be the “heroes” of wherever we are in life and at whatever time. As D.L. Moody once said: “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.”
And when it comes to the people who were our own “personal heroes”, let’s all consider taking some time out to show a gesture of just how much these people meant to us, whether it be a “thank you” card, a meet and greet, or even a phone call simply to express our gratitude.
Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for blessing me with everyone in my life who has ever encouraged me, comforted me, motivated me, sacrificed for me, and given a piece of themselves so that I can become the woman/man I am today. May I too be ‘as Christ’ to everyone in my own life so that everyone who encounters me will come off ‘a little blessed’. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”