Who comes to mind when you think of a role model? For some people it is a sports figure or a good samaritan. It might be a person who went from rags to riches. Hopefully, it is someone you look up to after whom you can pattern your life. Students at a grade school in New Jersey had been doing a project on role models, and for Ryleigh Gardner it was her older brother. The problem is that he had been gone for three years serving in the United States Navy in Japan. It is hard to have someone be your example when you never see them.
On the last day of school at Shamong Elementary in Shamong Township, an assembly was held. Third grader, Ryleigh, was asked to come up on stage so the other students could hear about her role model. While standing on stage she started hearing someone read what she had written: “As long as I can remember, my brother has always been there for me…He is super brave. He is giving his life to protect all American families. That is why my brother is my role model.” The person reading was off stage, but a moment later to the surprise of Ryleigh and everyone else, out walked her brother with roses, tears, and a hug. The last day of school was the first day of being reunited with her role model.
Who is your role model? Who is a person after whom you can pattern your life? Who can you use as an example for becoming the person you want to become? That person might be someone far away, or possibly an individual living with you. Maybe you don’t have one. That is sad! But 2000 years ago a person walked upon the earth who provided a perfect role model for all of us. His name is Jesus Christ. He was expected to become a ruler and king, but to the “surprise”of his disciples and everyone else he died upon a cross for the sins of humanity, for your sin and mine. Not only are we forgiven but we can have eternal life. We can pattern our life after him, for the Bible says in Ephesians 5:1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
Jesus, however, won’t show up unexpectedly like Ryleigh’s brother did. Each person must by a deliberate decision, invite Jesus to become part of his or her life. He doesn’t have to be far away or someone who lived 2000 years ago because he is still alive today, risen from the dead, and his Holy Spirit can indwell your life at this moment by simply asking. Make Jesus your role model today.