Monday, July 2, 2012

The Glory of Heroes!

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but whatever I read impacts me.  Maybe it’s because I have an overactive imagination. But when I read about mysteries, I begin to notice potential “clues” in the details of everyday life. When I read about great leaders from the past, I start seeing the seeds of greatness in those around me. And when I read about ancient Greeks (like I am right now, in the Iliad), I think about glory.

The Iliad should be subtitled “101 ways to kill someone with a spear,” but if you hack your way through the action scenes, you can become acquainted with some of the characters. As you get to know them you discover that they are driven by a very powerful force: they live and die for glory.

Our culture has largely lost the meaning of “glory.” Today the closest thing we really have is “fame” or “popularity.” But glory goes deeper than these things. Glory is not something that happens because you are well known; glory is something that you must earn. It is something that makes you worthy of honor. Glory is the thing that urges people to tell and listen to stories about the greatness and worthiness of your deeds. It is something that, quite frankly, most of us would shy away from because we feel that we do not deserve such high praise.

Christians know that God is worthy of glory. He is good enough for it. We, by comparison, are nothing. So many people reason that God alone should have glory.

The heroes of Greek mythology were proud. They saw glory as something worth attaining. They fought and died for it. Because of glory, they would get up and fight on even when they were bleeding out in a losing battle. These heroes would turn the tide of wars! They would conquer unspeakable beasts. And, at times, they would even take on the immortals. Many of these heroes were inspired to lofty deeds because they believed that they had the blood of the gods in them. They thought they could win great glory because they were the children of the gods. Something about this struck me as I was reading today.

As Christians, we are sustained by the blood of the one true God; we’ve been adopted into God’s own family. That’s more powerful than being the son of Zeus! Because we are children of God, we can gain glory for His name. We have the ability to overcome huge obstacles. We can defeat the enemy by the power of His name. We can battle not only against flesh and blood, but also against principalities and powers. (How cool is that?)

Unlike the Greeks, I have to remember that God is the source of every good thing I do and that the glory belongs to Him. The Greeks, however, foreshadowed the truth. I am a son of God. Because of that, I am expected to be a hero and win glory for His name! Like the Greek gods did for their children in the Iliad, my Heavenly Father gives me strength, protects me, and even fights for me on occasion. Only He does it a whole lot better than Zeus or Poseidon ever could.

We live in days of excitement and challenge. But we need to take of the metaphorical spear into hand and boldly face the challenges of our day. Who knows? Maybe 1,000 years from now someone will be inspired by you, because you were a champion from the days when heroes won glory for His name!

Post by Jeremiah Lorrig  
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