Katie, Bob and Jesus – To Whom Should We “Dole” Out Our Admiration and Praise?
Our beautiful “baby girl,” Katie, was married on Saturday, August 1, 2015. God brought her together with a wonderful man named Chase. They are each committed to a “until death do us part” relationship and to the God they serve. The wedding day went very well, save for a temporary loss of over half the linens for the reception during set-up time (they were eventually discovered in a box amongst other reception items –whew!) and a passing hail storm that started just after the outdoor ceremony but before the majority of pictures were taken, Oh well; it is those little quirks added to life’s experiences that tend to make them more memorable.
Since Katie has just participated in a highly significant event, it is fitting to write a bit about some of her quirky remarks and occurrences we’ve witnessed throughout her life. Since she was little, Katie has seemed to attract minor disasters to her person: she was dumped over someone’s shoulders onto her nose, sustained wounds on her leg from a cat bite, broke her arm, cracked open her head, slammed her front teeth into a family room end table (impression in the table and scar on her face are still there), cut open her knee enough to have stitches while riding her bike, and severely strained/sprained her ankle in a car accident. Even though she was a fairly quiet girl, some of the statements she’s made have been unforgettable. One time I was going over our schedule for the day, which included an outing in the afternoon. I told her, “Meanwhile, you need to go clean up your room,” to which she responded, “Don’t call me Meanwhile!” I think that even if I lose most of my brain capacity, I will always remember that statement.
When Katie started second grade, the 1996 presidential elections were in full swing, and it seemed as if they were a daily topic of conversation in Katie’s class. Attending a Christian school meant that conservative ideas and candidates were held in high esteem. So, Senator Bob Dole from Kansas garnered the irrefutable respect and admiration of Mr. Langford’s second grade students. According to Katie and her classmates, no one was smarter, had more integrity, displayed more charisma, or had all the right answers for America and the world than the Republican nominee.
One day that fall, my children were gathered around the kitchen table, and for some reason they had a rather interesting and amusing device to examine. It was one of those gadgets consisting of a box with a surface made of thousands of pins that can slide in and out to hold an impression of what is pressed against it. I have since found out that this implement has several names, one of which is “Pinscreen Toy.” As the kids were trying to make impressions of hands, faces, elbows and other objects, my oldest son said, “Gee, I wonder who came up with this?” Without hesitation Katie answered, “Bob Dole!” She had mistakenly added this accomplishment to the valid list Mr. Dole held as a political figure in Kansas and the US. The man was a superhero genius in Katie’s eyes.
While apologies to Mr. Ward Fleming who holds the patent on the Pinscreen Toy are in order, another error can certainly be addressed. For Katie to hold Bob Dole on such a pedestal was an error in judgment attributable to her young age. She took the information she had and made the assumption that Bob Dole could do no wrong and had all the answers for all of life’s problems. Certainly children are prone to placing their trust in people who are smart, strong, attractive, bold, wealthy; but what about the rest of us? Perhaps the athletes, screen stars, politicians and uber-rich with enormous hordes of fans and followers are a testament to humankind’s groupie mentality.
So, despite much to his credit as a public servant, Mr. Dole did not win the presidency in 1996. But, no one has, ever had or ever will have all the right answers, save for one: His name is Jesus. The book of Colossians expresses it like this: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross,” Colossians 1:10-20 ESV.
So, while Mr. Fleming can still take credit for the Pinscreen Toy and Bob Dole has a valid claim as a notable leader in America, Jesus has cornered the market on creation and keeping balance across the universe. He is supremely responsible for life as we know it and for life eternal. He knows everything about each of us from the day of our conception, including how many hairs we have on our heads (Matthew 10:30). He fully knows past history, the present state of affairs, and the course of the future. Not only is He aware of each person’s own shortcomings, but because He loves us each without limit, He has chosen to cover our sin by taking our faults and failures to the cross and dying in our place. He is the perfect answer for all of life’s questions, and Katie has come to understand that this is true. How about you?
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