Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ordinary Heroes

Foo Fighters' 1997 hit "My Hero" has long been a favorite of mine.

In the artists' own words, the song is "a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential". The lyrics certainly back up this message: "There goes my hero; watch him as he goes! There goes my hero; he's ordinary!"

In my own experience, this song has evolved from a great tune to play loud in the car, to a thought-provoking 4 minutes.

Check out the video:

If that's a little too hard for your taste, try this live acoustic version:

So, what's the difference now? Why does this song mean so much more to me now than it did when it was brand new?

The answer: The eyes of my two sons when they look at me.

Whether I deserve it or not, whether I live up to it or not, in the eyes of these two innocent children, I am a hero. Along with my wife, I define normal for them. I demonstrate habits they will either pick up without thinking, or make a point of avoiding; either way, specifically because those habits are mine. Decades from now, these boys will remember moments, words, and deeds that I will have long since forgotten. They will be impacted by all I do, and all I don't do.

They will see how a Christian husband treats his wife. How he treats his children. How he acts in the privacy of his home. His real attitude toward everything he shows the world in public.

They will see, in living color, whether the Christian life is really a daily lifestyle, or whether it's a weekly time card.

Ultimately, they will learn whether a Christian man means it when he says he is a slave to Christ.

They will learn all this from me, because to them, I am a hero. Yet, in my own eyes, I am quite ordinary. Any honest parent feels the same way. And, not just parents. Every Christian is an example to someone in this world who notices and remembers. Any Christian can be a hero to someone out there who is trying to find the way.

Why would God actually entrust something this powerful to us, when we are clearly so ordinary?

Simply put, because it's not about us. It's not about how ordinary we are. It's not up to our own strength. It's all a matter of who lives within us, and who directs the ones looked upon as heroes by others.

A life lived in submission to Christ does indeed have "extraordinary potential". And, a soul in submission to Christ will be a worthy example for anyone to follow.

Most children will, at some point, admire a super-hero, a professional athlete, or an entertainer of some kind. However, these heroes are not likely to stand the test of time or truly influence a soul's eternal destiny.

That privilege is reserved for ordinary heroes, just like you.

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