The Trouble with Heroes and Dreams
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise. Ephesians 5:15
Championships are made in the off-season. Pat Summitt
The last few days here in Mississippi have left many of us devastated over the revelation that one of our heroes appears not to be who we thought he was. I’m not a member of the “Let’s-crucify-him-further” mob, but I was sad, too. I believe with every fiber of who I am that there is a spiritual battle like the one Paul talks about in Ephesians 6, and the enemy knows well where each of our vulnerabilities lies. Don’t kid yourself. We all have feet of clay.
There is a good reason Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” I recently listened to a sermon by Tim Keller in which he says there is a struggle within every human being between two sides of our personality—one a Dr. Jekyll and another the Mr. Hyde.
When the news broke, I was heavy into this issue. My mind was filled with the amazing redemption story of Bill Buckley. His dreams were shattered. His ego had been brought down several notches, his life was a mess, and he was escaping his anxieties with a daily and generous marijuana habit.
Who could have imagined then the future assignment God had for him as the State Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes? My first real job was as administrative assistant in the FCA office. I saw up close and personal, day in and day out, how Bill Buckley and his boss, the late Bill Buckner, walked and talked and did ministry. Their impact on my life has been huge. It was the behind-the-scenes, humble servant heart I saw in them both that never waivered. If character is really who you are when nobody is looking, you can be sure Bill Buckley’s character is pure gold.
When we talked a few weeks ago he spoke transparently about our human proclivity to carry around huge dreams in our own strength. They are too big for us because they are indeed bigger than we are. In speaking of his experience, he said the very thing that in the beginning was a source of lightness and joy became a burden of great pressure.
Jeremiah 29:11—“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord…—is a favorite passage for most Believers. We tend to fall on our faces when we forget the part that declares God the author of those plans and we allow the dream itself to become greater than the Author of the dream. If truth be told, few of us get the life WE planned, but if we stay on course and trust God to lead us on HIS path, we discover for ourselves the truth in the old hymn “Be Still My Soul,” in those final familiar words, “Through thorny ways lead to a joyful end.”
I think you are going to enjoy this issue!
From Marilyn’s Bookcase:
Plumb Lines by Jerry Mannery
Jerry Mannery, whose name is synonymous with the Mississippi Mass Choir and Malaco Records, has compiled thirty plus years of original poems, proverbs, and prose in this inspiring book. Easy to pick up and read in short snippets, this is rich with insight and the godly wisdom of one who has lived life well.
5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz
I picked this up at Lifeway because the title caught my eye. Who hasn’t felt defeated because life can be so overwhelming at times? If you’re close to being a “Quitzilla” yourself, this is for you. It’s a short read based on the book of Ruth. Humor, empathy, and a down-to-earth communicator. I recommend!
The True Jesus by David Limbaugh
This is not a quick read. Charles and I are both working through it, but it is so well researched and scholarly. The author blends the four gospel accounts together with historical background and includes contextual explanations that clarify for the modern reader details we can easily miss.