"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders You have done. The things You planned for us no one can recount to You; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare."
It's happening again --- famous people who are "the people to watch" are the stuff of gossips and media wonks. We've endured another week of the escapades of basketballer Kobe Bryant, the socially retarded wunderkind who is charged with the sexual assault of a Colorado female employee of a hotel where he stayed. Once thought to be a youthful straight-arrow, recent revelations of Bryant's upbringing and past reveal that he is woefully lacking in the ability to deal with people socially. Having been programmed and relatively isolated most of his life seems to have left him prey to his own lusts and mistaken interpretations of others' intentions.
Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh, the premier talk show host and sometimes sports announcer, revealed under pressure this week that he is addicted to painkillers. His detractors are having a field day while his loyal listeners are somewhere between shock and grief. Limbaugh has checked himself into a substance abuse clinic for 30 days, and his future doubtless will include a mega-dose dose of humility.
Perhaps it is appropriate to ask the question again, "Whom do you trust?" Now, I don't mean simply, "In whom do you have confidence?" or "In whom do you rely?" The question is much more far-reaching than that. The genuine focus of the question concerns the one we follow or the person in whom we place our ultimate faith.
Some people seem to bounce from one "hero" to another always trying to find a person who is perfect. Nothing could be more self-defeating! People are consistently human --- that is, they are sinful and broken. People fail! Each of us has his or her own personalized package of weaknesses and foibles. Each of us is susceptible to our own type temptations. James 1:14 says, "But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." Respecting people is one thing; placing one's faith in people is quite another!
If you cannot have faith in people, then what are we to do? The answer, according to Scripture, is to place our ultimate trust in God! It means to look to Him for our salvation and guidance. It means to obey His commands, and inquire as to His will for daily decisions. It means to recognize His gracious actions on our behalf and the wonders done amidst mundane life.
The writer of Hebrews put it this way, "...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
I don't know where your race will carry you this week, but I do know where you should be looking as you run. Look up! Look down and you quickly become tired and discouraged. Look down and you become preoccupied with what is at your feet. Our command is to look up --- look to Christ --- and trust God!
Be vigilant this week and don't allow yourself to become too focused on following others, no matter pious or spiritual they seem. Keep your eyes on Christ and do what He says. He'll never disappoint you, and He will never have embarrassing "revelations" to make!