I looked up the definition of what a “hero” is in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it said:
: A person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities
: A person who is greatly admired
: The chief male character in a story, play, movie, etc.
That was what was said to be the “simple definition”, it went on to describe in more detail:
A: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
B: an illustrious warrior
C: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities
D: one who shows great courage
There are all types of heroes I guess, I think of all the young men and women who have given their time, service and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice of their own life in wars for the protection of their country. At least I am sure they thought that was what it was all about. There are people who have thrown themselves in front of an oncoming vehicle to push a loved one out of the way, or get in harm’s way protecting someone from a dangerous animal. I guess those people fall under the category of “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities”. We have all made heroes of persons who have held high political offices, athletes and sometimes an actor, maybe John Wayne would fall under that category? These are the ones that are most likely to disappoint us through no fault of their own; it is us who put them on pedestals so high that they easily topple over and I don’t need to give you an exegesis on that, you have all read the news, or like me have seen it up close and personal…
I always think of Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha, when I think of heroes, yes he was errant in his belief that windmills were monstrous dragons, however he went out with valor wearing his makeshift helmet and fought with what vigor he had left in his frail body. And that brings to my mind thoughts of my dad as he was in his last few days on earth. I could hear him praying over the monitor I had beside my bed early in the morning and as he prayed he was doing battle for all of us, his unknowing and sometimes ungrateful children… and then one morning, the week before he passed, I heard him say, “Lord I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished my course, please take me home to be with you.” When I heard that I ran down the hall and fell at his feet begging him not to give up, to keep on fighting the fight for us all but it was time for him to pass his sword to another generation of young men and women, to pray and live the life he had taught us to live.
We have the ultimate hero in Jesus the Christ who gave His own life for us, His unknowing and sometimes ungrateful children. As He prayed in His dying moments He prayed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”, and I wonder, was He praying only for those who had beat Him and were crucifying Him, or don’t you think He looked into the future and saw you sitting there reading this and feeling guilty for things you have done? No one made Him do it it was His own free will.
So I wonder who the heroes in your life are? It could be as dramatic as someone who has saved your life, or as simple as the man who chose to brave the cold wind to fix my tire. I don’t want to be unknowing or ungrateful, to all the heroes in my life and to my own personal mechanic I say, thank you.