heroes and boxes

We all need heroes.  They inspire us.  They give us something to shoot for.  But every hero falls short. 

I always wanted to be a rock star, so my heroes growing up were guys like Billy Joel and Elton John (I don’t care what you say about his eccentricities… I saw him play a solo show not too long ago, and the guy could put me to shame in a piano duel).

Then one day I started preaching.  I’m still not sure how it happened.  We needed a preacher for our young adult service at my home church, so I jumped in.  These days I spend more time and energy as a preacher than a musician, and sometimes that’s confusing for me.  I thought I wanted to be like my heroes, but this falls way outside of that box. Sometimes I wrestle with an identity crisis because I'm having the time of my life doing something I never thought I'd do.  

But this is why every hero falls short.  Heroes other than Jesus can’t show you who God made you to be; they can only give you a hint.  I watch other preachers and admire them, but I don’t feel like I can do what they do.  They’re too smart or too Type A or they talk the preacher talk (“be blessed, brother”) or…  But then it hits me.  My heroes are unique because they’re unabashedly true to who God made them to be.  Yours are, too, I bet.  The fact that they don’t fit into a box is part of what makes them heroic.      

Ephesians 2:10 says we’re God’s workmanship (or masterpiece… the word in Greek is poema… like a poem), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  God broke the mold when He made our heroes, so we should stop trying to crawl back into their boxes.  If we trust Him enough to be the people He made us to be, we’ll find out he broke the mold when He made us, too. 

Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies.  Matt Damon, playing Will, says it like this:

“At least I won’t be unoriginal.”

Step out of the box.  Whatever God had in mind for you… I’m sure we’ve never seen anything quite like it.   And that’s the point.