News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Josh Head

Which list will you make?

The New Year has just started. How about taking a little quiz?

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the Academy Award winners for best actor and actress in leading roles last year.

3. Name the World Series winners of the past five years.

4. Name the last three Heisman trophy winners.

Check the answers below. How did you do?

Those who made the lists in this quiz I found are no second-rate achievers. These are the best of the best. But over time, the applause dissipates, awards tarnish, achievements are forgotten and accolades are buried with their owners.

Now try a second quiz that I came across:

1. List three teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time.

3. List a couple of people who make you feel special and important.

4. Name four heroes whose stories inspire you.

How did you do this time? Was this quiz easier? What is the lesson?

The people in our lives who make a difference are not the ones with the most impressive credentials, or the most money or fame. They are not the people with the shelves full of awards and trophies. The people who make a difference in our lives are the ones who care about us.

This leads to an even greater question. What about you and me? What kind of person are we striving to be? Famous? Successful? Wealthy? Or, do we want to be one of the people someone would remember when he or she takes the second quiz?

Herbert Jackson, a seminary missions professor, tells the story about a car he was assigned to use as a new missionary. The car would not start without a push, so every time Jackson drove the car he would either leave the motor running or park on a hill. He used this procedure for two years. When Jackson was about to leave the mission field, he proudly explained to his replacement his arrangement for getting the car started.

As Jackson spoke, the new missionary began looking under the hood and quickly said, "Why Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble with this car is a loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, got into the car and made it roar to life with the first turn of the key.

The power was there all of the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting the power to work.

J.B. Phillips paraphrases Ephesians 1:19-20, "How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God."

When we make firm our connection with God, the power that is there can flow through us into the lives of others.

How about you and me? What kind of people will we be in 2005? Those in quiz one or in quiz two?

(Quiz One answers:

1. Bill Gates III, Warren Buffett, Karl Albrecht, Prince Alawaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, Paul Allen. Source: Forbes magazine

2. Sean Penn and Charlize Theron

3. Boston Red Sox, 2004; Florida Marlins, 2003; Anaheim Angels, 2002; Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001; New York Yankees, 2000

4. Matt Leinart, 2004; Jason White, 2003; Carson Palmer, 2002)

Josh Head, senior minister of Decatur Christian Church, is a guest religion columnist for THE DAILY. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

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