Readers are Leaders
HAVE you ever heard of sluggard being famous? Probably not. Have you heard of someone who didn’t like to read but still became famous? Yes. Did a story cross you ear of someone who people thought nothing good could come out of? Of course! People such as Martin Luther King Jr., John Jay, Theodore Roosevelt, James Madison all became important milestones in the history of America. And all because of a book.
Consider St. Paul. In Acts 22:2-3, it says: “I am a good Jew, born in Tarsus in the province of Cilicia, but educated here in Jerusalem under the exacting eye of Rabbi Gamaliel, thoroughly instructed in our religious traditions…" Basically, it says that he was made to read the Old Testament by his teacher. Now let’s fast forward years. In Greece, Paul preached on Mars Hill, a sacred mountain where famous debates and speeches were held by Aristotle and Socrates. It must take many years of learning to achieve the Greek’s honor by preaching on Mars Hill… learning that could have only come from reading the scrolls and through the Holy Spirit. Paul was a wise and godly man who became the chief author of the New Testament and a great apologist, thanks to the guidance of the Rabbi Gamaliel and the Old Testament scrolls.
Now, let’s fly through centuries and land in a state in America called Kentucky. We know someone there. Who? Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was born in Kentucky and raised in the forest and woods of Indiana.When Lincoln was eight, his mother made him start reading books and his stepmother continued that mission when Lincoln’s first mother died when he was ten. Even when he was an adult, he would walk for miles, just to read one book. According to his neighbors, his favorite books to read where Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress and Aesop's Fables. His love for reading drove him to read books about law and even though he didn’t become a lawyer, he did become one of most loved presidents of all. Aren’t you glad Mrs. Lincoln made young Abe read?
Alright, we’ll surged ahead one last time into the life of Ben Carson. Have you ever heard of him? Of course you have! He’s the famous black neurosurgeon who was able to do surgery on the conjoined twin babies. He started his reading career when Mrs. Carson saw his failing grades in school and said that her sons where banned from TV. Each week, they would go to the library, choose a book, and then write a report about it. Mrs. Carson herself didn’t have a good education and would pretend to skim through their essays and encourage the boys to continue with their learning. When Ben was away from the TV, he realized that he had something better than TV: imagination. And that was better than any TV program. In future years, Ben thanked his mother for encouraging him to read those books. So thanks to his mother’s urging, Ben was able to get his his hands on several medical books, which led to become a neurosurgeon and save the lives of many… All because he was a reader.
And what have we learned from the lives of these men? Men who others thought were nothing but murders, hicks and idiots. Men, who many thought would amount to nothing. There was One who saw their greatest potential: God. Through God, countless of others became the Heroes and Leaders that we know today; beginning as Readers to become Leaders of the United States of America.