We are told we can be our own hero. We have all the answers. We choose our course and orchestrate our success. It’s all up to us. But are we really the hero of our stories? Or is someone else?
Sometimes you get to choose your hero.
And sometimes your hero is chosen for you.
That’s what happened in fifth grade. He was narrowed down, chosen, and handed to me in a neat little package. With the command to begin my hero worship of him.
So, who was he?
Unfortunately, I forgot his name.
There were 5 of us girls who hung together at recess. To big to play on the slides or swing across the monkey bars, and yet not too old to occasionally take over the swings. We often hung out at the waist high bar we occasionally twirled around.
One afternoon the lead girl said as there was 5 of us and there were 5 members of the Scottish Band, the Bay City Rollers, we could each choose a member and they would be our heartthrob.
Having parents who eschewed rock and roll, I wasn’t sure who the Bay City Rollers were. When my friend pulled out a picture of the band dressed in plaid, we each choose a singer who would be our hero.
Every hero needs some worshipers. We were going to be theirs.
I guess you could say I chose my hero and heartthrob based solely on looks.
And because he wasn’t yet chosen.
What is a hero?
A hero is a person we admire for outstanding qualities and characteristics. They often have noble qualities and have shown feats of courage and sacrifice for others. Like a soldier or nurse.
A hero can also be someone who has accomplished something significant. Like an inventor or successful businessperson.
And a hero can be the main character in a story or book.
From these definitions, it seems you first need to know something about the person you choose as a hero. Perhaps what is significant about them.
I didn’t know anything about the Bay City Rollers, except they were singers and wore plaid. I was told his name, and then forgot. Several days went by and I again forget his name. “Write it down,” my friend said.
With such auspicious beginnings, my hero worship was not consistent and had within a few months petered out to nothing. Spring came, and we moved onto playing kick ball.
Who is your hero?
We may still have heroes, these days, but we are a fickle bunch. Hesitant to admire others or place our confidence in them. And we are prone to find flaws in them and expediently toss them aside.
We are encouraged to look inside ourself and choose ourself as our hero.
Why choose someone else as our hero, when we can choose ourself?
Advertising, marketing, self-help books, and social media, tell us that we can be our own hero. We can save the day. Our day.
Watch advertising. Look at marketing. It is no longer the company or a person saving us. Nor is it the products: The shoes. The cereal. Or the makeup we apply every morning. It is us. We are the hero for choosing the shoes, cereal, and the makeup.
“Make the consumer the hero,” is advice given over and over to writers, advertisers, and marketers.
We are told it is up to us.
We are the author of our story. The hero who knows all the answers. If we have a question, look to Google and deep inside ourself. We already have all the answers. We are the crafter of our own truth and story.
If we don’t like our story, we just need to reinvent ourself and become another version of ourself. “Poof” we have a new hero to follow and admire.
How to become your own hero.
We are told:
- We don’t need any help we can’t give ourself.
- We choose our purpose.
- We find our meaning.
- We live our best lives following our rules.
- If we let ourself down, we only have ourself to blame.
- Not only are we our hero, but we are our worst enemy.
- We can control everything and anything if we just believe and try hard enough.
If we have hard times, we fail, we fall on our tushy, well that is our fault because we are responsible for our own success. Our own trajectory. Our own course.
When we don’t make it, we are questioned: “What did you do wrong?”
We guilt ourselves. Shame ourselves. Try harder. Perfection is just around the corner, we are told, if we just put forth the effort.
We believe and start again. Pull ourselves up again. And yet never make it.
Ladies, we are being sold a bucketful of half truths and lies.
Who is our hero of your story?
The truth is much different than what we are told and sold.
Sometimes we already have a hero. We just don’t know it.
We are created by God. Not by ourself.
We are made to worship him, not ourself.
He gives us a purpose, which is much bigger than ourself.
We live in community, not isolation, helping and encouraging others, not just ourself.
We are to look to him for our answers and truth, not inside ourself.
He loves us, knows us, sees us, much better and deeper than we ever can.
He is turning each plot line and hardship we encounter into something beautiful, good, and full of purpose. We cannot do this for ourself.
We are a key character in our story, but God is the main character. The hero.
He saves the day and us.
The cool thing is we get to partner with him. And while he is the hero, he gives us freedom of choice and every decision he makes is made with love and with him knowing the whole picture.
When he is the hero.
Things change when he is the hero:
- Everything isn’t up to us, he takes the responsibility.
- We don’t need to find ourself or our place, he created us for a purpose and has a place for us.
- We don’t have to solve our own problems, he helps us.
- We don’t have to carry our own burdens, he carries them for us.
- We don’t need to believe in ourself, we can believe in him.
- We don’t save ourselves, he saves us.
- We don’t plot our own story, he guide us.
- We don’t manufacture our own worth and identity, he gives it to us.
- We don’t have to do all the work, he already has.
Without him we are selfish and not as wise as we think, but with him we can do great things and in the process become more like him. He flows through us so we have more to give.
He is the giver. We are the receivers.
He does the work, we surrender.
We no longer have to give ourself love and acceptance and find wisdom in ourself. We just need to receive his wisdom, his love and acceptance.
Our story becomes much bigger than we can imagine. We join God’s story and the story of all the others who have lived before us. And this story is woven into a beautiful big tapestry we will some day see. It has a purpose of eternity.
We join him in the story through obedience, and doing all to his glory. Not our glory.
And while God is the hero, we also have an enemy. Satan who is out to deceive, destroy, twist, turn our allegiance, and cause us to stumble.
But have no fear, Jesus has defeated him.
In fact, our hero has an answer and solution for every problem we face. He doesn’t leave us to figure it out on our own, but already has the answer and has done the work for us.
He saves us from ourself. Directs our paths. Shows us the truth. Hands out copious amounts of grace, forgiveness, and love.
We cannot do this for ourself. Or even for each other, unless he is in us, flowing through us.
We will always need him and be dependent on him, and that is all right. That is the way he created us. He is the vine, we are the fruit.
Invite him to be your hero.
If you want true success and a meaningful life, make him the hero of your story.
Invite him into your story. The good and bad parts. The exciting and boring parts. He wants to be there for it all.
Ask him to participate in your story. Whether it is standing in line at the grocery store. Changing the baby. Writing a report. Or feeding the family.
He is interested in all you do. He is there beside you. Everything you do is weaving a thread in your story and can be used to his glory.
Our sins. Weaknesses. Strengths. Flaws. Past. And future.
God uses all of us and our stories. Turning the good, bad, and what was meant for evil into good that blesses us and others. Weaving all our stories into his bigger story.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.
Join the discussion: What are some ways you have noticed that encourage us to make ourself the hero of our own story?
Anyone remember the name of that waist high bar, or circling round and round with the bar at the back of your knee and your hands loosely gripping the bar? I couldn’t find the name in Google or from anyone I asked?
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