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Thursday, April 23, 2015

The World Needs Heroes

We all know and love the stories.

The evil villain has taken control of this, that, or the other. He or she is hell-bent on destroying the world. Or taking it over. Or getting rich. Or simply being evil. We always enter the scene at the 11th hour. When times seem bleakest. When it seems darkness will win. When we’re not sure what the outcome will be.

It’s at this time that the heroes come in. They’re strong and powerful. Bold and courageous. Willing to risk their lives for the cause. Willing to put it all on the line just to fight for what’s worth fighting for. The hero comes in and takes the villain to task. Annihilating their plans. Sending them to jail. Saving the day.
Even though it'd be awesome
Why do you think these stories are so important to us? Why do you think they’re so appealing? Why are we drawn to them?

It’s because we all silently recognize that the world needs heroes. It’s because we realize that if not for these all-powerful beings that can defy science, nature, and the odds that the world be in chaos. That without their sacrifices and drive for good, the bad guy would win. It makes us feel good. To think that there is someone who can swoop in and save the day. That we can be saved. That someone would be willing to fight for us unconditionally. That someone else is going to handle it. It makes us feel more secure.

Unfortunately it’s not real. There are no such heroes. There are no such beings falling from the sky with giant hammers. Aliens with a heart of gold. Wise-cracking robots.

No, there’s only people. Only us.

The problem is, there’s still evil in the world. Still people hell-bent on destroying everything that’s good. Motivated by greed, malice, and hate. It’s just more subtle. And easier to sweep under the rug.

Turn on the news. I dare you.

You will see so much sadness. So much depravity. So much hate.

The 147 Christians killed in Kenya. The Ethiopian Christians being beheaded. The Nigerian girls being kidnapped. The shootings of so, so many in America. The taking of land in Ukraine. The fighting and slaughter in the Middle East. The shadowy movements of governments worldwide. Blatant racism the world over.

But you won’t look too closely. You won’t dwell on it. You don’t want to. It’s painful. It’s awkward. It makes you feel things you don’t want to feel. It’s easier to focus on things of little relevance. Celebrities. Cat videos. Movies. Whichever “injustice” happens to be going on. Who is ruining America, and how they will destroy it's values. Whatever happens to be trending on social media.

You don’t want to look. You don’t want to hear. You’d rather lock your door and bunker down. Thankful that you aren’t wherever the badness is happening.

Some of the victims. The real people.
Hoping the hero comes to save the day.

I’m here to tell you that’s not going to happen. We’re not going to fix anything with more war. More killing, pain, or strife. Sure we need to fight. Some problems require force. But not nearly as many as we think.

I’m here to tell you a hero already came. His name was Jesus. He came and did something more heroic than anything you can find in a comic book. And then he left. He left and told us that it was up to us now. He gave us the ability to be heroes ourselves.

He said it’s up to you.

The world doesn’t need more people taking to their favorite biased news site comment section to sound off on why everyone else is stupid. It doesn’t need people turning a blind eye to the problems. It doesn’t need Christians stuck in their ruts and traditions. It doesn’t need you to sit still.

What the world needs is heroes.

People willing to go and do whatever is necessary. People who are willing to sacrifice like Jesus. People who are willing to go to the reaches of the Earth and people willing to just go to their neighbor. People willing to go headlong into the danger and blackness of life, but also those who can stand up to their friends and family in the comfort of home.

The world needs something new. Something different.

Just a few of the faces that should motivate you.
Friends, people are dying. PEOPLE ARE DYING. People are being killed in the names of such things as religion, greed, racism, elitism, and just plain evil. You can’t throw soldiers at a problem and hope they kill all the bad stuff. It only continues the cycle. Until we stand up and commit to changing this world we live in there will always be an Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, KKK, “rebel fighters,” war, and only God knows what else.

You have to be willing to be a hero. You just have to. There’s no other way.

We’re going to sit here and let people, regardless of who they are or where they came from, die because it didn’t happen to someone we know. Didn't happen right in front of our eyes. Those people are really dead. Those people killed in those videos? They were really killed. It's not made up. It's not a story. It didn't take place in a parallel dimension. It happened on your planet. To people that could've been your friend. 

I say this to let you know that this is REAL. This is not propaganda. For the love of all that is holy don't turn a blind eye because it's not real to you. Want more proof? Read this blog: http://www.paintedorange.org/friendmurderedinsextrade/ 

I don't want to shame you, or shove your face in it. But we need to be shocked. We need to realize that there is life outside of the suburb and there's people out there. Whether in the next city over or the next continent.

I’m pretty frankly not alright with all this. I’m not alright with the state of the world. I’m not alright with hearing news that people are being executed. I’m not alright with moving on from an article of how 147 college students were murdered and then heading to Netflix like nothing happened.

Honestly? I’m pissed. I’m fiery. I’m discontent with the way we as Christians have decided to live. We were rebels once. Fighters. Dangerous in our ideas. Indomitable in spirit. Unwavering in commitment. Dogged in our pursuit of the people around us who needed to know about what Christ did for them.

Where are they now? Oh they’re out there. There the people we hold offerings for that you barely pay attention too. There the ones taking Christ to places where He almost certainly could not be. There the ones doing the hard thing to break the cycle and see this world changed. They are the heroes. They are the real heroes.

The time has never been more crucial. It’s never been more dire. It’s time. It’s time for you to get up and do something. Something as simple as talking to the quiet person in your class. Sparing a harsh word and speaking life. Or something as crazy as heading to the Middle East. Smuggling Bibles into China. Or God forbid loving on someone who is different from you.

Christians are historically a rowdy bunch. Every one of us has that deep down. We can’t simply rely on the preachers and speakers of our day. It falls to us. We can be the heroes. Better than anyone in a movie.
New day coming. I can feel it. 

There’s a song that’s been resonating with me lately. It’s called Renegades by the great theologians the X Ambassadors. Not all of their music is so wholesome, but these lyrics hit me like a hammer day after day:
“Long live the pioneers
Rebels and mutineers
Go forth and have no fear”

“It’s our time to make a move
It’s our time to make amends
It’s our time to break the rules
Let’s begin…”

No one is going to change the world for us. No one is going to swoop in at the last minute and beat up the terrorists. Stop the shootings. Halt the killings.

We have to change the world ourselves. We have to be the heroes. The world needs us.

You're not alone in this. We're all rising with you. We're all realizing it too. We're going to do this together. There is hope to be found. There is goodness to hold on to. Love trumps all. 

Are you ready?


2 comments:

  1. Gorgeous!! God has been speaking this exactly to me also, Seth. You clarify things so very well. Thank you, thank you thank you!!! Heather Nelson, Panama.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seth, this is so powerful. I love your passion and your truth. BRING IT.

    ReplyDelete