Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Can Be Your Hero, Baby!

Hi all! I've got a treat for you. My better half-or at least my other half-is doing a guest post today.

He is that handsome, and rather dirty, dude in the picture. Besides being Mr. Hippie, he also owns a roofing and siding business. Without further ado...

Looking at my kids lego magazines on the floor the other day, I noticed something called Hero Factory. I've never seen anything like this. They look like robots assembled out of skeletal styled Lego pieces. They fight each other? As I was pondering how Legos have evolved over the years I started thinking about the title Hero Factory... 

Hero Factory
How cool would it be to have a real Hero Factory? You could take all your favorite aspects, attributes and super powers, throw them in the hopper, push a button and Bam! a hero is born. If only it were that easy.

Children don’t always think in terms of the real world. (not necessarily a bad thing) Especially when they play. They usually create a world where they are the hero of the story. As its foundation, child’s play is often role playing

Children look up to and admire real and fictitious figures who embody all that they want to be. It may be an action hero on TV or a sports star or friend. Whoever it may be, they can only see the strengths and “super powers” of those they admire and none of the flaws. 

Kind of like the old fashioned books they used to write for boys and girls. The hero would always in every context display only noble virtues and no defects of character. These Heroes inspired. Children wanted to “be” them. 

Now every where we turn in books, movies and television we are surrounded with tainted heroes, antiheroes, fallen heroes. I liked the old kind of hero better. Sure, no one is perfect. But if we, or our children, are going to emulate heroes, why not be like them in all their good ways? 

We soon learn that we are not perfect. But, strangely enough, we also learn that we become like those we love, admire and even, obsess over. 

A Hero List
It may seem crazy to think we could make a “Hero Factory”, but maybe not. 

As a young man I “found” heroes. I started making a list. 

In first grade we had to write a paper about who our heroes were and why. I said Ronald Reagan and Bill Cosby. Go Figure. I quickly added Mr T shortly after. (it was my secret desire to be black so I could be like Mr. T)

However as I matured my list had names like Martin Luther, Lincoln, Washington, Winston Churchill, John Wesley, Whitfield, Eric Liddell. 

I also had names of men from the Bible like Moses, Joshua, Samson, David, Elijah, Paul and, yes, the Lord Jesus Christ. (This list idea isn’t that far off-God has his own list of Heroes in Hebrews 11, The Hall of Faith.) 

As I grew my list grew with me. I added Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Brother Andrew and William Wilberforce. Although these men were real men who lived in history, I wondered if there were men like this around now. In my lifetime.

I started to notice men like this were not out of reach if you knew where to find them.

Proverbs 13:20 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise..."

My Heroes
Around the age of 16, I had a conversation with my mother about how I would like to have a mentor. I had two men in mind-Charlie and Vern. 

Charlie was a homeschooling father that I knew, who had a keen understanding of politics, and who loved his country and it’s history. We talked politics often. 

Vern was a retired school teacher/social worker who did roofing in the summer. He had been a dearly loved family friend, a man who exuded the joy and wisdom of God and brought this into every context of life. I started to meet with him for breakfast each week. At some later point I started working for him.(I eventually started my own roofing company years later from what I learned from him.) 

Shortly after this I asked my uncle to teach me New Testament Greek. He was the one who turned me on to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Thomas À Kempis. 

About this time, I started to work with my father as a carpenter. I came to understand what kind of man my father is- a treasure trove of simple wisdom and amazing skill. By his example he taught me wisdom, patience, persistence, caution and when to act-with a cool head. 

I didn’t have a hero factory. I didn’t need one. All I had to do is open my eyes to the men God had put into my life.

Eventually I met John and Sid and Alan, and John and Warren. All men of God. Men of the Word. Men of deep understanding. Men I want to “be”. Men who shaped me, guided me and actually pointed me to the ultimate Hero, Jesus Christ. Men like Paul (who mentored Timothy and others) who could say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”

Okay, so maybe you can’t make a "hero factory." But, your heroes might be a lot closer than you think. Men and women around you at church, home, work or maybe even in a book. 

A Hero factory? Not exactly. But good heroes make more heroes.

Who is on your hero list? How are you following in their footsteps? To whom could you be a hero today?

Thanks, Babe! (Mr. Hippie to you all)

I want to just add that Mr. Hippie truly practices this. He is all about mentoring/heroes. Through Bible studies, through his roofing business, through life. I am very proud of him.

Oh, and you totally are my Hero, Mr. Hippie!

Follow Barefoot Hippie Girl on
Image Map