By Pastor Andy
August 8, 2022 - We tend to look past them, to the more famous and more successful in the public eye. But when we do we often falsely elevate men and women who have serious faults in their personalities, as we ignore the far more reliable and consistently decent people we are around daily.
The best human beings I have known, I have known most of my life. And I have known then well.
Were they perfect? Of course not. But I could always predict their responses to my needs and be sure that they would respond as they said they would.
To Christians, Jesus, of course, is the role model. Lesser so, but nonetheless also meaningful are the apostles and all the great Christian thinkers who’ve lived over the centuries since the first.
For the most part, however, these heroes are from the past and lack the immediacy of persons who, in our lifetimes, are not just believing in the teachings of Christ but living them out, often in an unobtrusive and non-spectacular fashion.
We need, I firmly believe, to pay far more attention to our nearby role models. For they are showing us how to get along and live the good life in a complex world where there is more uncertainty than perhaps any previous generations have known.
How can we identify the best of the lot among our role models close at hand? A key question, of course.
In the first instance, let me suggest we look to the mother and/or the father who are doing their very best to raise their children in a healthy, wholesome environment.
In the second instance, we should be open to the possibility that example lives to follow are fellow workers or persons who live in our community, but who are not visible in grandiose ways. They are simply being steady, building and keeping a safe home, working and toiling to make ends meet as best they can.
And above all, without complaining.
Let us beware of the persons near and far who are consistently talking about how bad everything is in their world. Not only are they not looking for the good, they are also pointing us away from loving life as it comes to us.
Most often I have come to admire most happy persons, who, by their very presence, evince a genuine gladness about living in the world of the 21st century. Sometimes, I have to search. I have to be open to the possibility that the unassuming person I am meeting just may be as solid as an oak tree, and I should be ready to learn from him or her.
I know such a person who can write the most beautiful prayers. I know another who seems to really enjoy his non-spectacular job; he fixes cars; and yet another, who is a grocery checker.
History will not write about the real heroes; but that doesn’t mean anything, not really. What means everything is that the role models we should imitate make life better and more fulfilling for us and others.