Who are the heroes in your life? I often find myself excited, entertained, enthusiastic, energized...but envious over the life of the famous music stars we see on TV and listen to on the radio. The stars of entertainment have not only become idols, but objects of worship for our culture and for the world.
Ok, I know several will find this difficult to understand, but I spent the evening with my mom and sister watching the “Justin Bieber - Never Say Never” DVD! While watching it, I experienced a sense of longing for a chance to attend a huge concert like his, get a hug from this famous star, or simply be part of the phenomenon that this world is so caught up in! I felt sad as I realized that this DVD was coming to a close and that my little glimpse of Justin Bieber’s life would soon be over. I wondered to myself, why is it that I have such a longing to feel connected to this famous musician? Some may even call him a hero. Millions of girls all over the world would sacrifice just to see him in person.
There is a longing that each of us have to feel connected to our heroes. We read books, watch movies, listen to music, and learn as much as we can about our favorite stars. We fall in love with the idea of the hero, and at times can become consumed with passion and obsession. We believe that the hero will sweep down and rescue us from our common life, and from all the troubles of the world. The biggest downfall with hero worship is that although someone like Justin Bieber can entertain and inspire me, he is still a human being like I am. I can escape the “normal life” that I lead for the hour that I watch his movie or listen to his music, but at the end of the day, he is the same flawed person who makes mistakes, rebels, and fails to live up to perfect standards.
As I reflect on this night, and on the passionate desire I have to find someone in this world who can satisfy me or live up to my hopes and dreams, I realize that there is no one. Justin Bieber will remain an idol-like figure who I will watch from afar. From the distance that I can see him he seems perfect. If I was to know a star like Justin Bieber in the way that I do my sister or best friend, I would see him in a completely different light. I would see reality, I would see imperfection, I would see “normal.”
When I change my perspective, I actually feel better about watching this DVD and catching the Bieber fever for a short time! I can now see the human behind the hero, and put him in his proper place in my priority list. I also can see the hero within the human, as I look at the people in my life who I am close with. Yes, they are flawed. Yes, they are normal like me. But they have done extraordinary things. My sister is a dancer and works hard every day to pursue her dream. Her diligence inspires me. My father works hard every day to provide for my family, and although no one is perfect and there are hard times when anger rears its ugly head, I know that he has given me a safe and loving home to grow up in. My dad is a hero. When I think of my mom, I can see the hero almost all of the time! Even at her weakest points, she has the true courage of a classic story-book hero. These are the people who I know the best, the people who see the worst of me, and yet still chose to love me. There is a bond of time and commitment that I could never experience within the short embrace from a famous movie star or singer.
I want to encourage you to stop for a moment and consider the heroes in your life, no matter how unlikely. We neglect the people we love best, and forget that they have given so much to us and have helped shape us into the people we are.
I believe that the reason we all have “hero-worship syndrome” is because the longing that lies deep within us comes from the only one who can truly satisfy the need. The desire to worship has been implanted into our souls. The desire can be wonderful and beautiful if experienced properly. The problem is that we worship all of the wrong objects! We worship the image of perfection, when in reality, the image cannot satisfy us. Before long, the excitement wears off or the image shows its true colors. We search everyday for something to fulfill us. We hope for the perfect life, job, friend, family, spouse, and home. We will never attain any of these things until our hearts are opened to the love and perfection of Jesus. He is the one who will satisfy us. He fulfills our every longing and wipes away our tears. He will never disappoint us or mislead us. This world is not our home, and we have a place in us that waits in expectation for the gift of Heaven! Here is a quote from C.S. Lewis that I feel sums up this longing:
“There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven;
but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts,
we have ever desired anything else...
it is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want,
the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work,
and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds,
when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work...
all your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness.
The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope,
that you have attained it.”
So now, as I look back on this night of watching the Justin Bieber movie, I see a blessing in disguise: the realization that God's perfection shines so brightly in spite of our own imperfections. We can find heroes in our everyday lives, and we can appreciate the movie and music stars for who they truly are. We are all longing to worship because it brings us joy. We simply need to find out who the worship and praise belongs to. God has placed the desire for Heaven in our hearts. We will never be satisfied unless we are satisfied first in Jesus. Be sure to live your life falling in love with Jesus before for the newest Hollywood hero comes asking for your heart.