Weekly Thought Archives > Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader

Fred's influence on college students enriched his life.  Years after being on the Baylor campus he received a letter from a woman student, "Mr. Smith,  it was from you I learned to encourage people, to compliment them, to build them up, and brighten their day when at all possible.  You taught me to pass it on.  Your words of encouragement to me as a student made a difference in my thought patterns and in my life.  Your approach to life was positive and I received a lot."

Fred wrote much on character.  This week's piece is taken from a letter he wrote to his mentor, Maxey Jarman, expressing his thoughts and appreciation.

The Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute is committed to "stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders - to the glory of God."  Just as Fred impacted students, BWFLI seeks to impart wisdom.  Thank you for praying for the men and women who lead these teams to college campuses.

Follow the Leader

One's character is largely determined by those whom they follow.  Heroes are profitable.  "Lives of great men all remind us we can make our life sublime and departing leave behind us, footprints in the sands of time."  Tearing down heroes isn't helpful; it is dangerous.  I am most interested in a man's heroes.  It tells me much about what he wants to become.

It is the rate of build up, not the tear down, which determines a man's progress.

Your example of duty fulfillment is now a part of my life.  I admire it in you.  I copied it, not as perfectly as you demonstrated it, but enough so it a genuine part of my own character.  My miniature copy is real.  As A.W. Tozer said, "My flame may be small, but it is real."

Your love for work is also something I caught from you.  You were the first to get me to experience the excitement of accomplishment.  Other had tried, but you succeeded.  Why they failed, I don't know.  Somehow I could accept and be challenged by your example.  It certainly isn't because you talked me into it.   You rarely talked about it; you just did it.

My responsibility is to set an example for those looking to me.  I don't know who is watching.  We never do, do we?  It is really frightening.

One night I was walking across the Baylor campus when a young man caught up and said, "Mr. Smith, today I decided to be another Fred Smith."  I didn't feel complimented - I felt the weight of the responsibility.  At that moment I wished I were all I've ever had the potential for being.  He rushed on and I never knew who he was or what he has become. 

It is not egotistical to want to live a life worth following.  Our friend Paul said, "Follow me as I follow my leader."  Knowing that we are examples becomes a driving force, doesn't it?

This week consider: 1) Who am I following? 2) What character traits are most important to me? 3) Where are the holes in my character?

Words of Wisdom: "It is not egotistical to want to live a life worth following."

Wisdom from the Word: "Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people." (Mark 1: 17 NET Bible)