In the past few days, I have looked over two different lists that intrigued me. The first was a list of the best and worst airports in the United States (flight stats). The second was compiled by C-SPAN and lists the best and worst presidents from Washington to Bush.
The airport list was determined by on-time departures. The worst airports were: Chicago O’Hare (Ill.), Newark (N.J.), Miami (Fla.), Dallas (Texas) and New York LaGuardia. They averaged at least 30 percent of all their flights delayed. The best were: Salt Lake City (Utah), Portland (Ore.), San Diego and Oakland (Calif.). Surprised?
The second list was a ranking of the men who have held the office of President of the United States. The bottom five were: James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, William H. Harrison and Warren G. Harding. George W. Bush was 36th on the list. His dad was 18th.
Abraham Lincoln was ranked the best. George Washington was second, followed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. Ronald Reagan was 10th. Bill Clinton was 15th. The survey graded each president on a scale of one (“not effective”) to ten (“very effective”).
So, what does “making a list” have to do with you? We are all on somebody’s list. The telemarketers know about you. We may not have a number attached to our names, but there are those who call us their “favorite” pastor, teacher, deacon, friend or, some, the “worst.” Others grade our preaching, teaching or conduct as “excellent” or “weak.” Others often place us according to our success or misfortune at one of our assignments. Even you have your favorite Christian personalities. Everybody is on somebody’s list.
Key for me is how our Lord grades us. I don’t think He ranks one over another because He loves us individually and unconditionally. However, there are some hints, such as Paul’s teaching to Timothy: “Be an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). And, in the word of the Lord to Micah, the Lord requires that we “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). There is a level of expectation for all of us.
If you had to rank yourself — and we often do — where would you be on your list? We can all move up — right? “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved … not ashamed” (2 Tim. 2:15).
Be blessed and be a blessing.