Advent 4: I Do Not Know Teddy Roosevelt

“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” – John 17:25-26 (ESV)

I do not know Teddy Roosevelt.

I know he was an asthmatic child who grew to become a poster child for strength and macho.  

I know he led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill during our short war in Cuba.  

He was governor of New York at the end of the 19th century, then vice-president under William McKinley until, a few months after the election in 1901, President McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo NY.  After that, Roosevelt was President of the United States for nine years – the youngest man (at age 42) to ever hold the post.

Roosevelt stood up to bankers and captains of industry, saw to it the Panama Canal was dug, and established the National Forest Service, creating many national parks, monuments and forests.

At a campaign stop in Milwaukee in 1912, he was shot by a would-be assassin while making a speech.  Refusing immediate medical attention, Theodore Roosevelt – wounded and bleeding – stood and gave his 90 minute speech, telling the crowd that “it takes more than (a bullet) to kill a Bull Moose.”

He was the inspiration for the teddy bear.  He had a great, tooth-filled grin, a fantastic mustache, and used terms like “bully” and “deeeeee-lited!”
I also know Robin Williams portrayed Roosevelt in the “Night at the Museum” movies.

I know a lot about Theodore Roosevelt.  I have read a couple of biographies, watched Ken Burns’ excellent PBS series on the Roosevelts, and have Wikipedia to fall back on for quick facts while writing this (and, if it’s on the internet, it has to be true.  Right?)

But… while I possess knowledge about our 26th president, I cannot make any honest claims to have known the man.  He died nearly half a century before I was born.

With this being advent season,it is a time to prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  It is a wonderful opportunity to build fresh habits to draw nearer to God, to get to know Him better.

Unfortunately, so folks believe knowing God requires a theology degree, or is based so,sly on studying the Bible.

Yes, there is an intellectual role in knowing God.  But that alone won’t do it.  Relationships require time and attention.  They require investment.

I may not know TR, but I know my wife.  We’ll be married 25 years next summer.

She deserves a medal.

I didn’t read about my beautiful bride to get to know her.  I spent time with her.  I listened to her, watched her, hung out with her.

It is the same with us and God.  Reading and knowing His Word is important – vital – because this is where God reveals Himself to us.  But we also need to invest time in prayer, listening to Him, watching for Him, hanging out with Him.

So, today, find some time to invest in your relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Talk to Him.  Wait on Him.  Listen to Him.  Revel in the fact that you have the attention of the God of the universe.  Study His Word.  Seek His guidance.  Love Him.

And see how greatly He loves you. 

Relationships take time and patience and love and nurturing.  And there is no better investment than Jesus Christ.  After all, Heinvested everything in us.

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