(Jesus said) "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27
Most folks seem to like stories about presidents, so a short one about Calvin Coolidge, one of my favorite presidents, might be allowed.
Shortly after Coolidge occupied the White House, he invited some of his old, Vermont friends to dine with him.
Knowing that living in their little hamlet had hardly prepared them for the upscale manners expected in Washington and White House society, the locals were worried.
After hours of discussing how to avoid causing themselves any embarrassment at the table, they decided the best plan of action would be to do everything silent Cal did.
Their plan was an admirable one and they succeeded in copying him most successfully. Indeed, the entire meal passed without incident until coffee was served.
When Coolidge poured his coffee into a saucer, his guests did the same. When the president added some sugar and cream, the visitors did likewise.
Then Coolidge leaned over and put the coffee-filled saucer on the floor for the cat.
From what I can see, there are an awful lot of people who have done the same sort of thing in their lives.
They copy someone until it gets them into trouble.
Many solid, sensible citizens in Germany copied Hitler, but doing so got them into trouble. Teens vie with each other to successfully emulate the latest movie, sports or rock star, but that can often be a dead end.
And I suppose we adults do the same -- just maybe in a different way.
This is why it's important for us to be selective in our choice of the people we wish to emulate.
Maybe that's why Jesus -- knowing us better than we know ourselves -- said we should follow Him. Truly, His loving and caring nature is an example without equal. His willingness to offer His life as the ransom for His wayward brothers and sisters is unprecedented in history.
And although we never can copy any of Jesus' divine qualities, we can do our best to follow in His human footsteps. If we do, I'm sure at the end of our lives we won't have any regrets.
And can you say, "No regrets," if you were to follow after anyone else?
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for all that You and You alone could do for humanity, I give thanks. Now may I, as much as my sinful human limitations will allow, do my best to walk in the paths where You lead. May I follow You. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries