I have been following the story of a Detroit, Michigan man who walked 21 miles to work, his name is James Robertson. This man captured the attention of a college student who would see him walking everyday in bad or good weather to work and then back home. Unmoved by the rubbernecking observers along his long trek, Mr. Robertson walked and walked and walked, his stride undeterred to reach work on time. He didn’t miss a day of work for any reason or gave himself no room for self-pity.
I’ve been personally fascinated by the sheer determination of this humble man and his simplistic approach to a difficult challenge in his life. He definitely showed that one can use the basics of what the good Lord gave you to help yourself. For me, when I think of my own challenges I face on a daily basis, although different from Mr. Robertson, I am inspired to continue to press on in my trek and stay on the goal with the same single focus determination and stamina. For me, Mr. Robertson is a wonderful inspiration of Servant Leadership. The plant manager where James works sets the attendance standard by him, stating ”if James can get to work walking all those miles in snow and rain and you are in a car just ten minutes away – so can you!!” That is excellence in work ethics and for me, it reflects true leadership that leads by example…not just empty words.
In the days that followed the story of Mr. Robertson, a Go Fund Me account had already been set up for him by the inspired student who befriended him and wanted to get a car for James -to date it has raised $300,000. Also, a local car dealership has donated a Ford Taurus to James so he won’t have to walk (unless he wants too) ANYWHERE again. Upon receiving his car, Mr. Robertson stated “”It’s simple on the outside and strong on the inside – like me.”
My devotion today is 1 Thessalonians 1:2-6, I would like to dedicate it James Robertson and to those who never stop to consider the odds too great or too long to walk a life principled and centered in Christ Jesus.
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Father, you show us how to love you, Lord from the inside out…even in the mist of severe suffering. Even when it hurts and even when it’s hard…your word promises we can persevere “with Joy given by the Holy Spirit!” We celebrate your goodness and mercy -for it does follow us all the days of our life and we will rejoice in your presence! Praise your name, Lord. How beautiful and gracious is our God!