Manuary 26, 2016
I can imagine it now. A rap on a door. A figure high on a horse proclaims the British are coming! Over and over. The British are coming! That ride through the night ensured an entire regiment was ready to fight by morning. It marked the beginning of a physical fight for independence. It was courageous. It was a required. And it was a choice.
No this wasn’t Paul Revere, this was a 16 year old girl who rode in inclement weather all night for 40 miles. Twice as far as that more famous midnight ride. She even had to fight off a man somewhere on the road. Her mission was the same, but you’ve probably never heard of Sybil Ludington. A young woman who decided to take the reigns when no one else could. A young woman who was visited by George Washington himself for her heroism and contribution to the cause. A young woman who probably didn’t even think that what she did was an option. Why does everyone know Paul Revere’s ride, but not Ms. Ludington’s?
Did you miss her stamp published by the US Postal Service in 1975? Have you ever heard of 50 kilometer foot race held every April in Carmel, New York in her honor? Have you ever seen her statue on the shores of Lake Gleneida? Probably not, but she still contributed. And millions more have contributed without fame. Do we care? Do we honor the famous more than the contributors?
Sybil Ludington is somewhat famous for sure. Especially in the area where she lived. Nevertheless, this is the the point I want to make, I think we have a tendency to look too much to the famous, not because of what they did but because of their fame. Not that there aren’t thousands who’ve earned fame and are worth looking up to, but fame should never be the cause. Because when we make fame the cause, we lose heart when we’re disappointed with our reception. You’re not a failure if you don’t become famous. I know, many of us would rather avoid fame. But some of us crave popularity too. And that’s not a bad thing unless it becomes THE THING.
Who’s ever heard of the elders in the church on the Island of Crete? No one knows who they are or what they did for sure. All we know is that they we’re not named in the Bible like their leader Titus. But while Titus was important as a church planter and close follower of the Apostle Paul, so were the elders. And these elders couldn’t be just anyone, doing anything, they had to be upright in character and judgement. And through their faith and lifestyle they were integral to the developing church.
The Bible compares the church to a human body in this passage.
“For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:14-20 (ESV)
We have different roles in life. Some of us were meant to famous, some to work in the background. Both roles are just as valuable. Don’t let the desire to be something else diminish your ability to do what you can. God did not make a mistake when He made you the way you are. He made you to be part of a greater body, not the whole thing. The ride of life isn’t always known to others. Sometimes it’s something we do by ourselves. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. It just means we’ll have a little more privacy. Which can be a good thing too. So whatever venture you’re about to embark upon, let a higher purpose be the cause. Whatever thing you’re trying to accomplish, let God lead the way. Whatever you desire to be the outcome, remember, sometimes you won’t be able to see the most important results. So take the reigns, let the wind and rain soak you through, beat on every door, let everyone know your message; and let your message be good news. That’s the ride of life, and it’s a decision of destiny.
God Bless You,