Hero Maker

hero maker
Stephan N. Tchividjian, National Christian Foundation President

Recently I overheard someone say, “you are not a hero maker.” The comment immediately got my attention for many reasons. I was curious what a hero maker was and what it took to make one? I was also intrigued by what standards one was measured by to determine if he/she was a hero maker? I sensed there was something worthwhile hidden within the comment, perhaps a secret prize of some sort.

 

hero makerWe all love heroes, and they do, indeed, come in all shapes and sizes. The most notorious heroes are those men and women that stand up for the little guy and defend justice. There is a whole industry that creates, promotes and nurtures these types of heroes. We actually call them “superheroes.” and they have this unique ability to harness the imagination of everyone, especially our children. Who doesn’t like Batman, Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and even Mighty Mouse (old school). However, there are other heroes too. I can’t help but think of first responders: brave men and women who run to the scene of the accident, the natural disaster, the crime, the pandemic and the like. These heroes are willing to risk it all to protect all exposed and at risk. We honor our veterans in much the same way. Many of these men and women had no choice but to face death, disease, suffering and loneliness to defend a country, a belief and/or a home. Heroes, indeed, live all around us, and the uniform they wear may simply be a pair of jeans, t-shirt emblazoned with a big tongue, and a pair of worn sneakers.

 

How are heroes made?

The idea of a hero begs the question of how is one made? I have heard of a cabinet maker and a wine maker, but never a hero maker. I wonder if I can stare at the mirror and identify myself as a hero and in essence become a “self-made” hero? One can choose a career that lends itself to heroic accomplishments and possibly be put into a position of heroic action. However, how can one aspire to be a hero? I sense that a lot of that births from character that is developed over a long time and often from very challenging circumstances. We have all witnessed the touching video or news story of someone rescuing another, having made a split-second decision to do so. These action steps erupt from years of cultivation and are rarely random (though they appear as such). Additionally, you see the story of extreme sacrifice one is willing to endure for the sake of a loved one. For example, a spouse’s devotion to their partner as they care for their illness or the parent that sacrifices for the betterment of their child. Many dreams are buried in an effort to be the unexpected hero. I sense that we all desire to be a hero, even reluctantly, sometimes. I think there is a sense that a hero is seen, makes a difference and contributes to the overall well-being of mankind. I think, in essence, it’s what the Bible means when we, as Christ followers, are called to be His ambassadors… perhaps we are God’s dispatched superheroes.

 

Waypoints

Every year I ask God to provide for me a word or two that act as waypoints for my life’s journey. These words become His guiding principles by which I try and navigate the unpredictable nature of life. These God-given words help develop my character and focus. During the last several months I have been listening and praying to decipher and uncover the word(s) God may have for me. These words become ingredients by which He does His work in me.

The two words that I believe God has put before me are:

 

Resilience – The official definition of resilience is the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness

 

Wonder – The official definition of wonder is a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

 

I initially found the two words a bit at odds with one another. Is there an adverse relationship between wonder and resilience? In an effort to be resilient, do I risk losing (or gaining) a sense of wonder? Does a sense of wonder undermine the desire to be resilient? What is a healthy relationship between wonder and resilience? The more I thought about these things the more I began to see the correlation between resilience and wonder. I would simply say that wonder gives resilience its why.

A hero is someone whose character has been forged over a long period of time, and we often notice a consistent sense of wonder. This wonder compels them to develop the resilient skills and know how to explore the wonder. For example, think of the Wright brothers who had a compelling sense of wonder to fly, yet, through a lot of trial and error, built a craft that demonstrated the resilience to actually accomplish the dream.  World explorers, inventors, human rights activists, philanthropists, and even parents all demonstrate a sense of wonder that requires the necessary resilience to realize the dream.

 

hero makerThere is much talk that the next year or two may present many challenges (what’s new). We have talk of economic slowdown, inflation, supply chain issues (where is Kids Tylenol), threat of nuclear war, increased political divisiveness, attacks on our Christian faith and rights, etc. I sense that we will need a lot of heroes next year. Therefore, as I lean into the next year, I do so with a deep desire to avail myself to His work and let him make a hero out of me. God is the ultimate hero maker, and as I surrender to Him, I become available to be able to do extraordinary acts for Him.

 

Finally, I could not help but go back to the phrase that caught my attention… “you are not a hero maker.” I realized that as a Christ follower…there is no such thing as a hero maker. He is the hero maker. God is the source of my wonder; God is the teacher that models and demonstrates a resilience that is so compelling it makes me want more. His resilient grace is attached to a wonder that is bathed in supernatural love. Every sunrise is a demonstration of wonder mixed with resilience. Every “act of God” is the same and; therefore, as we look forward to a new year, we too, surrender ourselves to the hero-maker.

 

Stephan N. Tchividjian is the president and founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit southflorida.ncfgiving.com to learn more.

Read more articles by Stephan Tchividjian at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/author/stephan-tchividjian/

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