Recently, as I was sitting at my computer, my attention was drawn to the headline of an advertisement that said….
“Sometimes it pays to follow the crowd; especially when it leads to great rewards”.
I spent a while thinking on that intriguing and eye-catching statement. I knew that could be a truth, but I began to wonder at the root behind the thought. I thought about how a promise of something that can lead you into great rewards sounds like a very smart thing to do. But, then again, I wondered, what if you got in behind a wrong crowd, and wasted all your time and money, and possibly even your life? Sobering thoughts!
Some of what I am seeking to illustrate was portrayed in a humorous but clever way in the plot of the movie “Forest Gump”. That was a movie I really enjoyed. It spoke to some deep things about our world and society in a very laughable way. I really enjoyed Sally Field’s portrayal of Forest’s mother. She was what I would call a true character. A thread of the words of her wisdom was woven though out the story line. Just like with our real life mamas. One particular nugget of wisdom was “Forest, stupid is, as stupid does.” I learned a lot from that nugget.
But back to the main subject, following the crowds. In the story line Forest at a young age began to be taunted by various friends and enemies, to “Run, Forest, run!” Later on in the story, on one of his famous runs, a strange thing happened. As he ran, one or two people at a time, out of nowhere, got in behind him and started following him. It quickly became a very large crowd. It was hilarious! I still laugh when I think about it. Forest was running his heart out, and he kept peeking around at the people over his shoulder, seemingly very nervous and looking extremely baffled and bewildered. In looking back on it now, it seemed to me that his expression was saying “What is going on here? Are they chasing me or following me. If they are following me, why?!” Or, maybe he knew well that he didn’t have the foggiest notion of how to lead a crowd. Even so, he just kept running, and they just kept following. This was one occasion where Mrs. Gump’s homespun Mama wisdom seemed to shine through. Stupid will shine through.
All this takes me back to where most thinking takes me, the Holy Bible. Scripture certainly supports the wisdom of Mrs. Gump. It describes the one called stupid as being “one who does not pay attention to wisdom”
- Proverbs 12:1
Those who love discipline love knowledge, and those who hate correction are stupid.
- Proverbs 14:17
Short-tempered people make stupid mistakes, and schemers are hated.
- Proverbs 14:29
Patience leads to abundant understanding, but impatience leads to stupid mistakes.
They might be rash and impatient, with little self control. They don’t want to be corrected. And it says they follow through and do stupid things. And that they reap what they sow. It makes it clear that stupid has it’s own reward.
The lesson I’m learning here is that we want to make sure the leader of the crowds we want to follow is not a stupid one. If we follow a stupid one we won’t reap the sweet sounding promise of good success. We will find this leader has never been where he claims he will take us. They were empty words. These were unsure where they were going in truth. Without good character to lead them they didn’t have to foggiest notion of how to guide others into successful rewards.
But I want to be sure I share the good news too. Through the Lord Jesus Christ there is a cure offered for stupid. Have you considered setting the heart to learning how to follow crowds who have a proven track record for fulfilling rewards promised? Will you consider the great crowd of witnesses in the word of God? Have you heard of Abraham, who set his heart to following and obeying the voice of the Lord, and became the Father of God’s family in the earth? Many generations of family and friends got in behind him, and still follow his examples today. For the sake of this one man, nations and people groups are still daily receiving blessing. He began the lineage that produced the Lord Jesus Christ, and that lineage daily brings salvation to the world. Or how about the faith giants from Hebrews 11? Common human beings who have all been commended by the Almighty God as worthy of praise, and left a glorious inheritance for their children following behind them for generations..
It might be that you are not called to be as an Abraham, or as a Samson, but we are all called to follow those who follow Christ, with the promise of rewards. God said if we give one of his anointed ones so much as a glass of water because they are his, we will not lose our reward! By setting the heart to following leaders who demonstrate the fruit of being Christ followers, great rewards will certainly get in behind you and chase you down, and also your descendants. See Deuteronomy 28.
God’s promise is to you, and to your children, and to your children’s children, both in this life, and in the life to come. Pray without ceasing that you may be found too wise to get in behind the Forest Gumps of this world. Stupid is, as stupid does!
Christ, In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I believe our best choice is to set our whole heart on becoming a wise one so that the spirit of stupid that wants to lead us is cast behind our backs. In that sweet place we will run with the best.