Bob Tamasy: No Job For The Lone Ranger

Monday, May 20, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

The U.S.A. was founded with a healthy dose of “can do.” Pilgrims sailing across the ocean. Venturesome pioneers exploring the horizon to the West, discovering territories previously unseen by non-native Americans. During the Industrial Revolution, enterprising entrepreneurs embodying the virtues of “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.”

Yes, we’ve prided ourselves in our self-sufficiency. From 1952 to 1954, TV even offered a “poster child” for this independent attitude: “The Lone Ranger.” The mysterious masked man would ride into town on his white horse, Silver, accompanied by his faithful companion, Tonto, and discern what problems were plaguing the local citizenry. He’d deftly dispose of the bad guys and then, without fanfare, ride off into the sunset with a mighty “Hi-yo, Silver, away!”

The local folks were left scratching their heads, wondering, “Who was that masked man?”

In July, we’ll get a fresh look when a new “Lone Ranger” movie premieres, starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp. I have a suspicion “ke-mo sah-bee” will never be the same!

American culture being as strong as it is, this lone ranger mindset infiltrated every aspect of daily life, including spirituality. For decades churches have produced “lone ranger” believers showing up from time to time for worship services, professing to be devout in their faith, but having little ongoing connection with other followers of Jesus Christ.

This is not how the so-called “Christian life” is to be lived.

In John 15:5, Jesus declared, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Paul the apostle affirmed that when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

A major distinction between Christianity and other belief systems is that through His Spirit, God can empower believers to live as He calls them to live.

But there’s another dimension to this reality. Jesus’ followers aren’t to live in isolation – they need one another. Many passages underscore the importance of strength in numbers.

For instance, Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” And Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 points out, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!... A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The apostle Paul also offered a model for carrying out Christ’s Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Paul instructed Timothy, the man he was mentoring, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Have you ever wondered, with various studies showing a large portion of Americans believe in God and the Bible, even claiming to be followers of Christ, why is our nation in such moral and ethical chaos?

That question has no simple answers. But “lone ranger thinking” is a significant contributor. Through the years I’ve been fortunate to have many people, men and women, who invested in my life in various ways. And I’m striving to “pay it forward” by investing in others through personal mentoring and teaching. We can’t do it alone.

The Christian life never was intended to take place in a vacuum. Just as human organs must function in concert to sustain healthy life, as parts of the body of Christ we’re designed to support and complement one another. For following Jesus, lone rangers need not apply.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.)



Children's AWANA Ministry Starts At Middle Cross Baptist

Middle Cross Baptist Church, 4009 Norcross Road, Hixson, has begun its Awana ministry for children ages 3-17. The Awana program is each Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. Van service is provided by contacting Pastor Ed Gravett at 423-877-5742 . "Awana offers a fun, proven approach for early evangelism and discipleship. Scripture-based programs and exciting games attract families, ... (click for more)

Sunday Is 125th Anniversary Of St. Elmo Presbyterian Church

Rev. Tim Tinsley of First Presbyterian Church on McCallie Ave. will be the guest preacher.  "First Presbyterian gave the seed money to start construction 127 years ago," church officials said. Morning worship is at 10:30 a.m. Anniversary lunch will follow an anniversary photo of everyone in attendance at 12:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to join in the celebration. (click for more)

16-Year-Old Shot Near Emma Wheeler Homes

A 16-year-old was shot near Emma Wheeler Homes on Sunday night. At approximately 7:40 p.m., Chattanooga Police received a call of a person shot from a local hospital. Officers spoke to the victim, a 16-year-old black male, who was transported to a local hospital in a personal vehicle. The victim’s injury is minor and non-life threatening. Investigators spoke to the victim ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)