006062213X.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_As I have begun the process of moving back into my newly remodeled (and awesome looking) office, I have been hauling books back and forth to be boxed or put on shelves.  The other day, I came across one of my favorites that I had not seen for some time, Shadow Of The Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot.  The book borrows selectively from her husband Jim’s diary which he kept all through college and then took to the mission field.  Shadow is a must read for sure–especially for upper teen through young adults.  There are some stellar statements about sacrifice and making your life count that she pulls from his diary.  What caught my attention afresh this time as I thumbed through the book was her introduction to Jim’s life. She told this story:

At dinner recently with a group of Christian high school and college students, I asked whether they had any heroes.  There was silence.  They looked at each other, then looked blankly back at me.  Heroes?  What is a hero?

I was taken aback.  While they discussed definitions I remembered what a long list of heroes I had when I was their age.  I would have had no difficulty in answering the question I had asked, nor would it have been necessary to define the word.  Gideon, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…Florence Nightingale, and Abraham Lincoln were on my list, along with a good many nineteenth- and twentieth-century missionaries.

No, was the answer of my dinner companions.  They had no heroes.

Is there anyone, then, whom you admire?

A short pause, then, hesitantly, well, yes- some rock stars, a few athletes – people not by any means exemplary in many ways, but they had a goal they worked hard for.

Feeling very sorry for these young people, and a bit desperate, I asked if there was anyone they wanted to be like.  The answer was an immediate and definite no.  they wanted to do their own thing, be their own person.  That seems to me a hard assignment.  If we are to find the channel and the harbor, surely we need some lights to steer by.

As I read this story and then put the book down, my mind began to fill with my “heroes” from the Bible or Christian history, some of whom are still living today.  People who made and are making their life count in big ways. People that in my heart I secretly hope I can be like in even just a small way.  In some future blog posts I want to introduce you to some of my heroes.  But first, a question for you – do you have any heroes?

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