“Who?” I asked.
“You know—‘Running Bear,’ and ‘Young Love’—the country singer.”
Ah! “Running Bear” I remembered. It was on the radio nearly every day for a while when I was a young teen. Sonny James was born on May 1, 1928, Keith found an article and there it was all set out for us: 26 #1 hit singles and 16 #1 hits in a row. He still holds the record for consecutive #1 hits by any solo recording artist throughout all musical genres. And I couldn’t remember who he was!
So, I got to thinking and, it being just passed, I looked up the Oscar winners. Tell me, do you know who Warren Baxter was? He won the 1930 Best Actor Oscar for his role in “In Old Arizona.” I never even heard of the movie. How about Paul Lukas? He won in 1944. Don’t tell me, “But that’s so long ago.” It hasn’t even been a hundred years. It certainly isn’t ancient history.
How about nominees? Let’s just sit awhile in the Best Actress category. Ruth Chatterton? Betty Compson? Jeanne Eagels? They were nominated in 1928. May Robson and Diana Wynyard? They came along in 1932. Martha Scott? That was 1941, and Celia Johnson was nominated in 1945. Okay, let’s make it easier. How about 1966? That was Ida Kaminska. I still never heard of her. Marie-Christine Barrault was nominated in 1976. Surely you know her? Here’s an easy one—1989. Most of you were probably born by then. Ever hear of Pauline Collins? Me neither.
I bet I could do the same thing with Emmys, Tonys, Grammys, and how about Heisman awards? Do you see the point? A huge percentage of these people will never be remembered by anyone just a few years from now. Acting is not that important in the grand scheme of things. Touchdown passes, slam dunks, and home runs don’t really matter. Why, oh why, do we lavish our praise and adoration on these people? Why do we wear their colors and their numbers, dress like they do, talk like they do, and want their signatures on hats and shirts and napkins?
Think for a minute: who do we remember? How about a widow who sewed for the poor in the town of Joppa? How about a Christian couple who were chased out of Rome for being of Jewish extraction, but who kept traveling preachers in their home and even helped teach them and anyone else who came along, even at the risk of death? How about a wealthy woman in Jerusalem who allowed the church to meet in her home in the midst of a dangerous persecution so they could pray for those in prison? How about a disciple in Damascus who took his life into his hands to preach to one of the church’s worst persecutors? How about yet another one who was known for his encouraging ways, who traveled and preached and took young preachers under his wing till they could grow to be mature servants of God?
I bet you know every one of their names and can find their stories in your Bible. These are the things that last. These are the things that no one will forget. These are the things that will make a difference to lives, and more than that, to eternal souls.
And most of these are things we can do, too. Do you want to be remembered? Put down the football. Throw down the novel. Turn off the DVD. Pull out the earbuds. Now go out there and do good to whomever you find, everywhere you can. You will be remembered—by many, and especially by the One who counts.
…Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. Luke 12:33-34; 16:15.
P S--Happy birthday son!