Lindsay Lohan achieved fame early as a child actor and model. She went on to make several successful movies and record best-selling albums. She has also been in substance abuse rehabilitation several times, posed for Playboy, and was convicted of theft.
Last Friday, Lohan announced via Instagram that she may run for president in 2020. She joins rapper Kanye West as the second entertainer to declare her intention to run for our nation’s highest office. The fact that she won’t yet be 35 years of age and thus not qualified apparently does not deter her.
Celebrities generate headlines. If you or I announced our campaign for president today, we probably wouldn’t read about it in the news tomorrow. But people who change the world are often not recognized by the world. For instance, I didn’t know the story of Jim Donovan before I saw Bridge of Spies over the weekend. It turns out that he was one of our greatest patriots.
James Britt Donovan was born on February 29, 1916, in the Bronx. His father was a surgeon. He wanted to become a journalist, but his father convinced him to study law at Harvard. Donovan eventually became a partner in a New York law firm.
There he agreed to defend Rudolf Abel, accused of spying for the Soviet Union. I won’t give away the rest of the story, except to say that Donovan became the catalyst for a crucial prisoner exchange negotiation with the Soviets at the height of the Cold War. Most of us had never heard of him before Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks brought his story to the theater last weekend.
I also did not know the story of Alexander P. Butterfield before reading The Last of the President’s Men. Once again, I learned of a little-known figure who was critical to American history. Bob Woodward, famous for helping expose the Watergate conspiracy, tells his story.
Butterfield, a former Air Force pilot, became Bob Haldeman’s chief assistant after Haldeman became President Nixon’s chief of staff. In this capacity, Butterfield was put in charge of installing a secret taping system in the Oval Office. During the Watergate scandal, in response to a direct question under oath, Butterfield revealed the existence of this system to the world. His revelation was instrumental in the president’s resignation.
If your name isn’t making headlines in our culture, don’t be discouraged. Most of the people most used by God in Scripture weren’t celebrities, either. Aaron was instrumental to Moses’s leadership; the prophet Nathan was vital to King David’s life and leadership; Stephen and Ananias were keys to Paul’s conversion and global ministry; Barnabas restored John Mark, the author of our first Gospel.
John R. W. Stott’s assertion rewards careful reading: “To encounter Christ is to touch reality and experience transcendence. He gives us a sense of self-worth or personal significance, because he assures us of God’s love for us. He sets us free from guilt because he died for us and from paralyzing fear because he reigns. He gives meaning to marriage and home, work and leisure, personhood and citizenship.” Have you encountered Christ today?
God anoints those he appoints. To what Kingdom assignment has he appointed you?