Thursday, May 2, 2013

Are You a Hero by Frank Black

Are You a Hero?

You probably don’t consider yourself a hero.  Well then, who would you consider a hero?  Do you know any heroes?  A few summers ago at Bible Camp I was teaching a teens’ class on “Heroes.”  My first question to them was the same: “Who do you consider a hero?”  Their answers were – you guessed it – people in the “popular press” a sports, movie, recording stars.  But are they really heroes?  No!  That leads us to the question of who is a hero?  [We’ll use the masculine form, hero, to cover both genders.]

You can look up the word, but the meaning generally connotes courage; sacrifice – often sacrifice in the face of danger; acting for the greater good of others; often acting in acute, unexpected situations.  You can see why with such a definition we often attribute “hero status” to soldiers or fire fighters, etc.  Many other situations would also call for someone acting suddenly with the threat of personal danger.  For example:  someone diving into an icy pond to rescue a mother and child whose car has skidded into the water and is sinking.

Are the above examples the only way heroes can be described?  The answer is “NO.”  Let me explain.  Have you heard of “silent heroes;” “unknown heroes;” “everyday heroes;” a people doing heroic things who are not recognized and don’t desire to be?  No, you don’t have to be recognized as a hero to be one.  These are people who are putting others above themselves; serving others; sacrificing themselves [their time; their money; perhaps their health or even their job; etc.] – serving without any expectation of personal gain; not serving with the flare of one dramatic event, but over time by an ongoing series of small events.  Do you know any people like this?  Are you one?  Then you are a hero!  ----  [Example:  The first example I think of are the caregivers for the aged, infirm, or handicapped of all types – family members or others.  How about those who continually and sacrificially help the financially unfortunate; and then people who perform services for those who are needy – driving, physical chores, etc., and on and on? …..]

These qualities sound quite Biblical don’t they?  Well, they should!

n  Matthew 20:28 – “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

n  Matthew 10:42 – “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

Most of us will never be recognized as a hero by the world’s standards.  But so what!  This is not what we should desire as Christ followers.  We should desire to be the “silent hero” I depicted.  There are many “silent heroes” among us.  If you know them, follow their example!  And tell them that they are your heroes and you’re trying to follow their example – [Isn’t this another trait of heroes – that people want to follow their example?].  Let us all strive to be this type of HERO!!

I conclude with one of my favorite quotes which relates somewhat to this topic.  It is from President Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where those who do things could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who falls and comes up short again and again.  But such a person has great enthusiasm and great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause.  At best he knows the triumph of high achievement.  At the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.  His place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have failed to try and know neither victory nor defeat.”

* Frank Black

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