Came to Fredericksburg this week for an opportunity to enjoy the Hill Country here in Texas. It's hard not to enjoy this area and part of it is the history that the Hill Country. Tuesday found my friend and me in Austin looking at the Travis letter at the Texas Library and Archives on the capitol grounds. The Travis letter, for those of you not intimately knowledgeable in Texas history, is that letter written by Col. William Travis, commander of the Alamo, which was written asking for more troops, status of the Alamo, and saying he and the volunteers will man the garrison faithfully. It is a piece of living history.
Outside of Austin is home to Lyndon B. Johnson's ranch, another piece of history. Using LBJ's name draws one of two responses depending on who hears it: powerful man who occupied offices of importance and used his power to bring about meaningful and lasting change and programs OR powerful man who abused his power to bring about change that was detrimental to the country.
When interviewed after his last volume in his biography of Johnson (four in all at this point with one more in the works), Robert Caro (who has given a sober assessment of Johnson that is truthful but well-crafted to reserve opinion of Johnson) said he neither admired nor disliked Johnson, but as a historical figure, he really grew a sense of awe toward Johnson. It is likely that this country will never again have a figure who can amass the kind of political power and influence like Johnson did for a variety of factors.
It is said that Johnson truly knew the men and women he dealt with and what made them tick. He was, for better or worse depending on your viewpoint, a man who knew people and how to manipulate them. He is, much like all of us, flawed and used his influence for his own gain.
Christ stands as a stark contrast to Johnson (and us). "I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts," Christ says to the Jews (and to us) in John 5:41-42. Christ often references the heart and the motive of man. Where our hearts are. Christ knew where our hearts are and what drove us. He viewed us as sheep, easily moved and influenced. He loved us. He had compassion on us. In the end, with all of our flaws, he died for us rather than use his own power and influence to avoid the cross.
We pray that we use our time on earth to glorify God and that our hearts be with him. We pray that when we fail him, we seek his forgiveness for our weakness and that he strengthen us. Keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Hope Men's Ministry