Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Heroes

While sitting in church one Saturday morning, I found myself inexplicably drawn to an opening video presented by the speaker of the day, Milton Coronado. The video was simple: a mono-tone background, words fading on and off the screen accompanied by fitting background music. The subject of the video was to provide a perspective based on an underlying theme of the Bible: God can use the weak and ordinary to accomplish the great and extraordinary. To do this, the video listed a mini-biography, starting from the character's humble beginnings to the manifested destiny of greatness each person achieved through God's direction. It was a wonderful list, one that I feel is worth repeating. So, here is my take. Here is my list of seven individuals who embodied this concept. I consider these individuals heroes in the Bible who stood tall when they got down on their knees in faith.

-Abraham
An immigrant. He left his home to start his own family in a land he has never seen before. He sired just two sons, but through God, entire nations claim to be descendants from him and religious orders claim him as the father of their faith. Hence, he is known as Father Abraham.

-Jacob (later: Israel)
A cheater and a liar, he tricked his blind father and stole his brother's birthright. He had also showed blatant favoritism in his own household. However, God changed his name from Jacob to Israel and through him the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel were formed.

-Joseph
He was one of the youngest in the House of Israel, yet he was the most favorite. He was a spoiled brat who was full of pride in his youth and tactlessly told his older brothers of his dreams where everyone, including their father, would bow to him. He was sold as a slave, wrongfully accused of attempted rape and a forgotten prisoner. Yet, God moved him from a prison to a palace by making him Prime Minister of Egypt. Using his power, he saved nations, including his family, from a devastating famine.

-Moses
He was a murderer, political exile, hot-head and prince-turned-shepherd. He also became one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, emancipated, shaped, and created a group of slaves into the nationhood of Israel and founded its religion. He stood up against a Pharaoh, a court of principalities and an ungrateful hoard of people all because he walked with God.

-Gideon
He was a farmer who was too thick-headed and stubborn to believe the audible word of God. However, he was chosen to command 300 men against a fortified army...and won. He was later was given the title of Judge over Israel, and Leonidas has nothing on him.


-David
He was the youngest son in a family of eight. A natural pacifist, he was a shepherd by trade and spent his lazy days sitting in the fields, writing poems and putting them to music with his harp. Later, he became an adulterer and a murderer. With God's help, he defeated a fully armed, nine-foot tall killing machine in full armor with nothing more than a stone in his sling. He also defeated the enemies of Israel to finally bring peace to the land. Through faith, he sought forgiveness and became known as "...a man after God's own heart."


-Saul (later: Paul)
He was a member of the social elite. He was a proud and zealous man who started off his career by being a coat check of some individuals who stoned a martyr to death. He traveled the country acting as a ruthless bounty hunter, cornering the innocent, having them arrested and putting scores of them to death. However, after he met God on the road to another job, his profession changed from hunter to evangelist. He traveled the entire Roman Empire to preach to crowds and start numerous churches. He also wrote thirteen books of the Bible. His enemies couldn't stop him, prisons could not hold him, and even today, his messages go on.

So, what makes these individuals so special? What was it that made these cheaters, murderers, fornicators, spazes, pretty-boys, and sinners become the earth-moving giants of history? Look at today's most powerful men. Just recently, the leader of the Catholic faith, Pope Benedict XVI spent some time in the US. Is he going to be remembered when he passes the Triregnum to his successor? In the business world, the richest man in the world (Forbes 3-6-08) is Warren Buffett. He started small, filing a tax return at 13 while working a paper route: he claimed a $35 deduction on his bike. He is now worth an estimate $68billion. His wealth is matched by his generosity: in 2006, he announced that at least $31 billion would be given towards the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His name would definitely be remembered in history's books, but would his name be as endearing as those Biblical names?

This is a question that I find myself often wondering, especially now that I have reached the age of early adulthood. What kind of a mark am I going to leave when it's all said and done? I know myself; I know my weaknesses and the times I have failed. Is God ever going to start working on me, or even worse, have I been so blinded by the worldly traditions that I have already missed out on the great work that God has already done in me? I feel that the only real answer to that is, we can't really know until it is all said and done. Who really knows if the drop in the bucket of our lives will eventually produce a ripple that will shake the world? As humans, all we can really do is work diligently and faithfully with the capacity that God has given us. God has given each one of us talents that we can use and the capacity for faith that can move mountains. God is with us, he has put our lives in motion and he will move us to the greater work that he has planned for all of us. As a close, I invite you to examine the past few minutes. You, my reader, have successfully finished reading this entire blog. I don't know who you are, I don't even know if you know me. But I know that I had made this blog just for you. So, what are you going to do now?

1 comment:

bermi koy said...

The real question is, what are YOU doing in the meantime???