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IN THE CARPENTER’S WORKSHOP: Who’s watching whom?

Let’s take a moment to look at role models in the faith.  Parents, friends, teachers, celebrities of faith, they all have an impact on how we grow.

I don’t have many famous role models.  Tim Tebow, a professional football player for the New England Patriots, has been very impressive in trying to keep a balance between fame and faith.

“When people look at me or look up to me, hopefully they see that it’s not about me,” Tebow told Christianity Today magazine.  “It’s having a relationship with Christ, and it’s a lot bigger than me.  And that’s what I’m living for — it’s not the money or the fame.  It’s having a relationship with Christ, impacting a lot of people and trying to help, encourage, and inspire people.”

He has been praised and criticized for dropping to one knee for a quick prayer of thanksgiving after a score, with one hand to his bowed head.  It has come to be known as Tebowing.  That word has now found its place in the Merriam Webster dictionary, a division of Encyclopedia Britannica. 

Moses the prophet, I really admire.  The parter of the Red Sea, the deliverer of his nation from slavery, those were big things God called him to do.  His hesitance and lack of faith at times remind us of our humanity and of the God who can use even us imperfect humans to accomplish great things.

Perhaps Peter, the impetuous apostle, who denied he knew Jesus in the garden, but ended up being the rock on which Jesus would found his church, is one we identify with when we fail.  But fail or win, he always did it big!

I have always respected the shepherds who came to worship Jesus.  They would have never been known to us had the angels not appeared to them.  Shepherds saying the Savior was born in a manger was probably a pretty impressive sight.

Of course, the greatest example for living has to be Jesus himself.  The Bible gives us account after account of how he handles a situation, which was often set up to try to handle him.  His birth in Bethlehem to confounding the elders in the Temple, healing the blind to breaking outdated church rules to save people, his prayer for us in the garden of Gethsemane to his death on the cross.  And the crowning accomplishment?  His resurrection from the dead to purchase salvation for all who turn to him!

How many times do we as Christians measure our choices by the way Jesus might do it?  We can look to many examples in scripture, which could very well happen to us and take our direction straight from there!

Very often we look to people we know are Christians in our world and seek to live like they do.  Pray often.  Forgive always.  Don’t fritter away our life with non-essential things.  Go to church.  Be responsible.  Be honest.  Love God and neighbor.

Whether we realize it or not, sometimes people see us as a good example of the way to live life.  We don’t have to be famous or particularly distinctive as the world expects.

We just have to follow Jesus.  To live as a Christian in ways which honor God.  If we do this, we will be a witness to how God seeks to bless and walk with his people.

One thing is clear.  To be a disciple for Christ, we must do something.  Doing nothing is the worst witness we can give.

There is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. 

There was an important job to be done, and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.  

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. 

I really don’t want to be any of the “bodies” listed above.  God wants us to be stepping forward.  There is an old adage, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”   If we fail, at least we fail in doing something.

And we might just accidentally on purpose do something right!

Sometimes people see us as the role model.  Sometimes we may be looking each other in the eye for inspiration at the very same moment. 

A railroad yardmaster called the telephone switchboard daily at exactly 11:45 to verify the time.  After years of this ritual, the operator asked the yardmaster, “Why do you call each day at exactly the same time?” 

His reply, “I take my responsibilities very seriously, I call to be certain I blow the 12:00 whistle exactly at 12:00!”  

The operator’s retort was, “How coincidental, I set my clock everyday by your 12:00 whistle!!”

Who sets their clock by you?  Who’s watching whom?