The Hall of Fame

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There’s a Hall of Fame for almost everything. 

Seriously.  Almost everything.

The Polka Hall of Fame is in Cleveland.  In New York City you can visit the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.  The Barbed Wire Museum and Hall of Fame is found in Lacrosse, Kansas, which advertises itself as the Barbed Wire Capital of the World.

Want to experience the Robot Hall of Fame?  It’s embedded in Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  R2-D2 was inducted into the Hall one year before C-3PO, incidentally, which no doubt disappointed fans who prefer the Star Wars golden bot.  The Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame is in Toronto, while the National Snaffle Bit Association Hall of Fame (which honors horses and riders) is the pride of Gurnee, Illinois. 

There’s a Caddie Hall of Fame, although it only exists in the Cloud. The next time you’re in Las Vegas you can drop by the Burlesque Hall of Fame – but please don’t tell anyone this is where you heard about it. 

Then there’s the Mascot Hall of Fame in beautiful Whiting, Indiana. Inductees include the Phillie Phanatic, the Indiana Pacers’ Boomer, and Ohio State’s Brutus the Buckeye.  Purdue’s Boilermaker Pete, who hangs out just down the road, has somehow been overlooked so far.  

Among the estimated 10,000 Halls of Fame, perhaps the one thing that’s missing is a Hall of Fame for the best Halls of Fame.  It’s hard to quench humanity’s never-ending thirst for celebrity, honor, and public recognition. 

Then there’s the Spiritual Hall of Fame. 

It doesn’t really go by that name, but Hebrews chapter 11 is devoted almost entirely to men and women who at one time or another demonstrated radical trust in God.

All we can say is that they’re a motley crew. 

There are polygamists (Abraham and Jacob); murderers (Moses and David); a prostitute (Rahab); doubters (Barak and Gideon); guys with serious impulse management issues (Samson and Jephthah); and at least one Old Testament hero who had trouble with alcohol (Noah).  What do these figures have in common?

They persevered in the face of overwhelming odds.  They endured extreme pressure and public rejection. 

Even after wavering, and sometimes falling flat, the compasses of their hearts ended up pointing toward the True North of God’s intentions for their lives.

Here’s how the writer of Hebrews sums things up:  “The world was not worthy of them… These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised” (11:38, 39) – because those promises were ultimately reserved for followers of Jesus.

What might radical trust look like today?

It would mean choosing to believe that even though there is chaos and disorder in the world, God is still steering the cosmos.  And his leadership isn’t going to be threatened by a virus, a recession, or the results of an election.  

Radical trust would mean choosing to believe that your worth and your identity aren’t determined by other people – not by your parents, your boss, your biggest fan, or your biggest detractor.  You don’t have to be somebody.  In Christ, you already are somebody – God’s treasured child, whom he will never abandon.  

And radical trust would mean choosing to believe that making $10,000 more a year won’t make you happy.  Nor will a better vacation.  Or a bigger house.  Or a longer title on your business card.  Radical trust means betting your life that God will turn out to be your true happiness.  

There are lots of Halls of Fame.  We may fantasize about being inducted into any number of them. 

But in the end, God’s Hall of Fame is the only one that will really matter. 

And anyone who chooses to trust him wholeheartedly can be part of it.