As a child of the 70’s, I grew up thinking the Duke boys of the original show The Dukes of Hazzard were just about the coolest guys on God’s green earth. Exploding arrows, car chases that somehow always involved jumping over a stream with a perfectly placed ramp and a bright orange Dodge Charger named after a man who led insurrection against these great United States somehow made sense in the 70’s kids, just trust me.
It was a very strange decade, men had perms for Pete’s sake, and not as part of some sort of cruel interrogation technique, “Ok, give us the intel or we will perm your hair as tight as Mike Brady’s from the Brady Bunch!”, it was the style along with lots of dark orange everything. I bet the Anti-christ is going to have a man perm and wear orange velour, but I digress.
But back to the Duke boys – John Schneider played the way cooler of the two Duke boys, sorry Tom Wopat even you probably admit it, Bo Duke and somehow as a result of the role became a huge star. Again, moonshiners driving a bright orange Charger with the confederate flag somehow played well on Network TV back then. Weird time!
During one of the later seasons of the show, Schneider dropped out of the role and disappeared from my view. Many years later after I became a Christian, he suddenly started appearing left and right in Christian movies and on the new Christian TV stations that I had started watching.
I had to find out how in the world Bo Duke became a follower of Jesus Christ! In short, after searching Youtube, I found an interview in which he explained that it came down to his grandmother and Johnny Cash. Wait, what? Yup, that is what he said.
His grandmother had planted a seed years growing up that had taken root after years of the Hollywood lifestyle. He had then spent time living with Johnny Cash that had caused him to examine his faith and come to embrace it in a way that he had never done before. His grandmother had planted the seed of the message of Jesus and Johnny Cash spent hours watering that seed and tending the faith through discipling that made the faith strong. Bo Duke has now done many Christian movies and spreads the message of Jesus himself thanks to Jesus working through these two very different saints.
What a strange team, right? If you needed to bring someone to a saving faith in Jesus Christ immediately would you call John Schneider’s Grammy and Johnny Cash? Or for that matter, would you call Priscilla and Aquila, simple tent makers from the Book of Acts whose testimony lead to the salvation of Apollos or your local fishermen like Peter, James and John?
My mother is in the hospital and needs to talk with someone about faith, call Bo Duke’s Grammy, Johnny Cash and if they are not available the local tentmaker or fishermen! Stat!
From a worldly perspective, it just makes no sense. If you think about it though, you probably have a similar list of disparate people from your past that influenced you in big and little ways to get you to the foot of the Cross of Jesus. I had a paralegal at a law firm I worked at, missionaries from a cult and my wife lead me to Jesus’ feet. Paralegals, bad missionaries and my wife, oh my!
You are not going to see the most of these simple folks opening up a fancy evangelistic Crusade anytime soon, Francis Chan will be on in a minute folks but first lets give it up for Tom’s former paralegal. But God doesn’t care about fancy, He chooses the foolish and the lowly to do His work. He then uses them mightily. It shows God’s glory when a tentmaker preaches the message that saves rather than a trained orator.
God regularly uses simple people, rich and poor, educated and illiterate to speak of His Son. He also does it at various times in people’s lives working together with strangers to save His children. Bo Duke’s grandmother may have never known Johnny Cash or the role that he was to play, but God weaves her work and his together to lead heaven to celebrate when their work came to fruition. God blends each of His willing workers efforts together into a wonderful tapestry testifying to others about God’s glory. Each working at exactly the right time with the right words that each lost person needs at that time. It is just what he does.
While great names like D.L. Moody and Billy Graham flash across the face of Christiandom periodically and impact large crowds of people, it is the every day contributions of you and me and Bo Duke’s Grandma, of course under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, that keeps the wheels of God’s Kingdom moving and people walking towards the Savior.
So keep going, keep speaking, keep testifying of Jesus even if you are not seeing the fruit, especially if you are discouraged. God is adding to His Church daily, sometimes we just don’t get to see if we are playing the role of Grandma who planted the seed or like Johnny Cash who was there at the harvest.