Originally Posted December 1, 2009
Heroes. When we were children, we had people or characters that we would idolize and fantasize about being when we reached adulthood. As a boy, I loved watching Batman and Superman. I would climb trees and jump out of those trees wanting to fly like Superman. If I could sneak a cape into the trees I would. I just knew that I could fly with my cape on. My mom would be watching though and keep me from wearing a cape into the trees. I never flew while jumping out of trees. Gravity always took over and brought me to the ground. Fortunately, I did not jump out head first. I did jump out feet first just in case I did not fly that specific time. I did not want to land on my head. Of course I knew that I could not fly, but I wanted to be Superman just the same. Oh If I could fly faster than a speeding bullet and have x-ray vision and do all the fantastic things that Clark Kent did once he changed into his special uniform. What dreams we had as kids.
I remember watching Roger Staubach in the early 70’s and then running outside to play football. I always wanted to be the quarterback and have that #12 on my jersey. In the winter, I would watch Jerry West play basketball for the Lakers and then I would go play basketball and practice my crossover dribble on the baseline. I wanted to be like either one of those guys…great at their sport. Both were icons in their heyday. Matter of fact, the NBA’s icon today is fashioned from Jerry West’s image. What an honor to be recognized by your sport to have your image to be their logo! These two men were my heroes from sports.
As I grew older, I began to realize that I would never be any of my heroes. I was not secretly Superman or even Batman. I also learned that I would not become the next Roger Staubach, especially since I did not play football, nor would I become the next Jerry West. At times that realization brought some disappointments, but it was always fun to fantasize about that growing up.
Today, our children are not any different than we were. They fantasize about being a special athlete or a super hero. I was listening to the radio this morning and the talk show host was talking about how everyone that lives in the spot light has a lot to hide. The idea was that most men (athletes) cheat on their wives and participate in some sort of scandalous behavior. He went on to say how the men from the past decades were not any different than the men in this decade. The only difference is that the media pays closer attention and scandals sell. All of these statements are true. At least from where the talk show host is sitting.
I looked up the past of the two men I mentioned earlier in this post. Roger Staubach is still married to his first wife after more than 42 years. He is now retired and looking forward to spending his twilight years with his wife, children, and most of all grandchildren. I realize that Staubach is a unique person. Jerry West’s past and present is not as stellar as Roger’s but seems to be better than most. I am looking at some of the current “heroes” and some of them are worthy of hero status while others might excel in their sports or their businesses but other aspects of their lives fall very short of being admired. There are two current college quarterbacks that have the potential of having a great impact on the world in the future. One is already very committed to carrying out steps to increase his impact along the way.
What is it about wanting heroes? Why do we desire to look up to someone and want to be just like them as we grow up? There is a desire in each one of us to be successful. We choose people in activities that we enjoy watching or participating in. Most of the time as we choose our “heroes,” we look at the wrong standards. We look at the world’s standards and then the financial impact they have (more or less how much they make). While all the while we need to be looking at standards much more reliable than those. What is important to us?
- Do we want to make a lot of money? Or do we want to live in joy and contentment with our families?
- Do we want to seek our own happiness? Or do we want to see our children succeed and be fulfilled?
- Do we want to live for the here and now? Or do we want to have a future and a hope?
Our heroes are an important part of our growing up. Why we admire someone can cause us to emphasize different aspects of our lives. I would encourage each of us to look beyond what we see on the field or on the screen for who we admire. Look at the whole individual.
1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Bradley D. Watson, BCBT Directed Path Ministries
After spending more than 25 years on church staffs, God has allowed me to take the experiences and knowledge that I gained to develop a Biblical Counseling ministry. The basis of this ministry is to allow God’s Word to shine on the main issues in peoples’ lives in order to bring His resolutions to problems.