Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Being Inspired By Versus Aspiring Too

When I was a in the 4th grade I got sent to a class that was supposed to make me have more self-esteem. To be honest I thought it was all a bunch of hooey. But there were puppets, so that was ok. One of the things the instructor kept pushing us to do was to choose a hero. Of course being me I asked, “Why?” Why should I pick a famous person to copy? (Looking back I was either a really strange kid or a really smart one.) What the teacher was encouraging us to do was engage in hero worship. What I was objecting to, in my limited way, was worshiping another person instead of God. Just an aside, you may not think your kids are listening at church but they are.

As a society we have been teaching our children to worship heroes. We encourage them to do the things those heroes do. To be like their favorite baseball player, rock star, or gamer. What is wrong with that? First, there is a little matter of the second commandment. Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me. Second, people will always disappoint. You can never really know a person fully, and some days people just mess up. They are rude. They have secret failings. They do all manner of bad things because they are people and therefore broken. So what is the answer; how about we teach our children to be inspired by people instead of aspiring to be those people?  When I aspire to be someone else I study their lives, copy their dress, and mannerisms. I stop developing as the individual God created me to be. When I am inspired by someone who they are is largely irrelevant. It is what they do well that inspires me to change for the better and I am still free to become the person God made me to be. I have been following Noah Galloway on Dancing with the Stars. I catch clips on the internet. He inspires me to get more exercise. I am inspired to improve the person God made me to be. I do not aspire to be someone else. 

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