Monday, May 30, 2011

The Power of Example......

I confess...I am a Survivor-addict. Since season 1, I've seen every episode of Survivor, but the most recent 22nd season of Survivor: Redemption Island had some unique and memorable moments, centered around a 22-yr old pre-med student from Nashville, Matt Elrod. Matt was the only survivor player to be voted out twice during the same season--he was blindsided twice by his tribe, which may speak to his trusting naivete as a player.

Matt was sent to Redemption Island where he spent much of his time in isolation. The Survivor cameras captured him reading the Bible, talking to God, expressing his trust in God's faithfulness and ability to strengthen him as well as his desire to glorify God while in  the game. At one point, Matt is in tears as he tells God that he's reached his breaking point and doesn't have the strength to continue in the game. 

Matt's example didn't go unnoticed. Julie Wolfe, a California firefighter, told Jeff Probst, "I came short of the money, but I'm walking away with something bigger. My life is changed.<p> "I see Matt's story with God, and I'm looking forward to going home, finding a church and getting involved." Mike Chisel, a 31-yr old Iraqi Marine veteran was also influenced by Elrod's example. He recently remarked in a radio interview that much of his spiritual growth came from hanging out with Matt on Redemption Island and seeing Matt live out his faith on a daily basis. Mike said that he gained more from this time in isolation with Matt than if he had won the million dollar prize.

In Matthew 13:12-15, Jesus has just finished washing the feet of his disciples who are blown away because only the lowest of servants was relegated to this humbling task of washing someone's filthy, smelly, fungus-infested feet. So why does Jesus lower himself to such an undignified, unbecoming act? We are told, "After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, "Do you understand what I was doing? You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you are right, because that's what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you."

Jesus is our example and he has called us to be an example to others. Matt Elrod was a living demonstration of the "power of example" to those around him on Survivor as well as millions watching at home on television. This gets me thinking: When was the last time I washed someone's feet (not literally)? When was the last time I had a positive influence on someone because of my example?


1 comment:

  1. Great first blog post, Dale! Welcome to the blogosphere.