I had some business in California this week on two cases I’m handling. I planned it so the wife and I could spend a week in Palm Springs with two of our best friends in between the deposition in the one case and mediation in the other.
Palm Springs is a playground for the rich and famous. It’s warm year around, has beautiful scenery and more nice golf courses than any other place in the world.
If you’ve been to Palm Springs, you know one of the trademarks of the city is streets named after celebrities. There are streets named after Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Gene Autry and others. They are a constant reminder of who once lived and played here, famous people, people everyone recognized, people other people dreamed of being. They are gone now, but their street signs remain.
Two days ago, my friend and I played golf here with a PGA Tour legend. If you are a golfer you would know his name, though you probably would not recognize him anymore if you saw him on the street. Knowing him over the past 15 years, I’ve been able to watch what it’s like to go from being a famous sports figure to someone few people recognize and it has struck me how thin a foundation fame is for a life. It is no thicker than a street sign.
And yet, we think of fame as the ultimate achievement. We long to be recognized and loved by people who don’t know us and whom we will never know.
After he had taught His disciples for the better part of three years and was preparing to leave them, Jesus gave His last instructions. Jesus didn’t say “Go and be famous” or “Go and be well-known” or “Go and be rich.” He said “Go, therefore and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19).
When you help someone become a disciple of Jesus you are establishing eternal evidence you lived and made a difference. And when you get old, instead of dreaming about the days when you entertained an audience for a few hours and people loved you for looks or skills you no longer possess, you can look at the people whose lives have been truly changed because you introduced them to Jesus.
When the street signs fade in Palm Springs, the disciples you make will still shine brightly signifying the Way for others who come after them. GS