Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thanks, Steve

Until about six years ago, I had never heard of Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin. Now, I'm familiar enough with him to be saddened by his death.

A friend told my wife and me that we had to make sure to catch this guy on TV who wrestled crocodiles and said things like "crikey!" and "She's a beauty!" We followed our friend's advice and were drawn to Steve Irwin like a magnet. His energy, excitement, enthusiasm, and passion were infectious. You found yourself caring about and being interested in animals because he was so engaging. You rooted for him to succeed. You waited to see what he would do next and what animal would crop us this time. He loved his vocation and calling - that was obvious - and had a passion for teaching and trying to persuade others.

Steve Irwin left a mark. He had a strong influence upon our culture. All it took to be convinced of that was a trip to a Taco Bell. My wife and I ate dinner at that establishment of fine dining this evening. As we went up to the counter to order, there was a piece of paper taped to the counter which read "R.I.P. Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin." To the best of our knowledge, we've never seen a sign like that before. Irwin's death is no small thing, to be sure.

Irwin has a lot to teach those of us who follow Christ. How excited are we about Jesus? Are we enthusiastic, passionate, and engaging or dry as dust? Do we draw people around us like magnets or drive them away like last week's garbage? It seems to me that we need a few more men and women who follow Christ with an enthusiasm and personality that is infectious and engaging. Imagine what might happen.

Pray for Steve's wife and two children - they'll need it for a long time to come.


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