Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Many thanks to Mr. Ian Adnams, director of Communications for Lutheran Church-Canada for supplying this idea.
There is an Internet magazine that is rating the world's most influential men.
I wasn't surprised to see rulers, athletes, artists, and politicians on that list. I didn't even object when Simon Cowell from American Idol showed up in spot number five.
I did have a problem with the man who is holding the number one spot of "Most Influential Man."
Are you ready? No, you're not. You will never guess who it is.
Really, you won't.
According to this survey, the number one spot goes to Don Draper.
See, I told you. You didn't guess Don Draper because you probably don't know Don Draper. Actually, nobody knows Don Draper. Nobody knows Don Draper because Don is a fictional character on a TV program called, Mad Men.
Don Draper is supposed to be influential because he is a man's man -- a hard-working, hard-drinking, semi-moral, tries-real-hard kind of guy. He's the guy the rest of us guys are supposed to want to be like.
If I want to see someone worth emulating, all I have to do is look at the Savior. It is He who endured the cross and gave His life so I might be forgiven.
And if Jesus is out of range -- which He is -- I can give thanks for the cloud of witnesses who have surrounded me since I was young. There is my father, the Christian blacksmith; that's him in the picture above. There is Mel Rotermund, Al Dutcher, and a host of other Christian men who were also Christian teachers. There are retired pastors who gladly shared their wisdom, were always supportive, and never pushy. And the laypeople . . . well, I can't begin.
No, if I'm going to look for influential men, I don't have to go very far, and I certainly don't have to go to TV and made-up characters.
That's because I'm blessed I've known Christian men.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have surrounded me with Christian men who have not been ashamed of the Gospel or their Savior. They were not perfect, but they have been Your powerful witnesses. By the Spirit's power, may their numbers increase. In Jesus' Name, I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries