Tag Archives: jesus

Ctrl+Alt+Del

That time when your computer instantly starts working when the IT guy comes in.  We’ve all had it.

The blasted thing can’t print, won’t launch a browser, find your draft, download a file, open an attachment or stream Indie music while you have 9000 windows open.  But, as soon as IT shows up, boom, everything magically works and all of a sudden you’re the idiot.  Thanks, technology.

Or, the alternative, we had the ability to solve the problem on our own the whole time.  “Did you reboot it?”

“Did you reboot it?” you reply under your breath in a snarky, high-pitched voice.  “Uh, well, actually, see what I was doing…” is what you really said while trying to decide if you should lie about rebooting or not.  Naturally, you do the reboot and the computer works like a charm afterward.  “Great, thanks for calling the help desk,” says IT guy.

“Great, thanks for calling the help desk,” you say again under your breath. Technology.

Anyone who has experience with a PC has used the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut to try and fix their problem.  Initially, the command was used to generally interrupt or facilitate interrupting a function.  In more recent Windows operating systems, Ctrl+Alt+Del is used to activate security features like logging off, switching users, changing your password or shutting down.

There have been plenty of times where I’ve wanted to simply hit three little buttons and have my real life problems fixed.  Over the last few months, we’ve had a number of hiccups occur that were out of our control.  I’ve realized that when I try to fix things on my own, I’m not very good at it.  I’ve also realized that most of the time, I’m the problem.  IT guys love to joke that most problems are due to ‘PEBCAC’ or ‘Problem Exists Between Computer And Chair.”

We have to hit a figurative Ctrl+Alt+Del to get the guidance we need.  In three steps, we can set ourselves up to be changed, rebooted and restored to fine, working conditions.

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We have to submit control over our lives back to God.  We have to admit (or even be convinced/reminded) that God has a great plan for our lives.  When we try to solve everything on our own, we end up just making things messier.

There’s no chance that I could fix my car.  I know how to check my oil.  I know where to put the gas.  That’s really about it.  If my car starts making sounds or stops running, the first thing I’m going to do is take it to a shop.   I don’t pretend to know what I’m doing.  I don’t try to be macho and stand in front of my car with the hood up thinking I’m going to identify the problem.  I might as well be doing a heart transplant.

So, why then, do I try to fix things in my own life and ignore God’s control over it?  Pride, selfishness, greed…I could go on.  Those things all get in the way.  The Christian-y saying is that we need to “lay down our problems at the throne.”  Translated into everybody-speak, it means that God wants us to hand over our challenges, fears, wants and needs.  It means to turn over control of trying to diagnose and treat ourselves.  It means to honor God by acknowledging that he can (and will) tend to our needs.

Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Could God have just made a butterfly a butterfly?  Of course.  But, instead, God chose to make the butterfly into a caterpillar first – a creature that creep out a lot of people – before miraculously transforming it into a beautiful, graceful butterfly.  We experience the ugly so we can be that much more appreciative of the beauty.

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We have to alter our perspective.  We get so caught up looking in the mirror that we forget to look at the one who’s image we were made to reflect. We get so preoccupied looking ahead that we stop looking up.

Back in the early 90s before we had GPS or other affordable radar devices, my family and I set out on our summer vacation to the Bahamas with just a map.  My dad had the whole thing plotted out.  He knew our average speed in the current sea conditions.  He knew the distance we needed to travel.  He knew the tides, the weather and the landmarks along the way.  He studied the map for weeks before we left port.

The crossing took around 6-8 hours and much of that was without having any land in sight.  I’m not sure how old school sailors did it.  After a few hours, I was sure we were going to end up in Africa or on the bottom of the sea.  I don’t remember Dad getting nervous, but he may have just been hiding it really well.  One of our favorite memories (and one of his proudest moments) is when I looked up and shouted “LAND HO!”  We made it!  We saw the outline of an island.  Just seconds before, we saw only the flat horizon and a few white-capped waves.  But, soon we were able to make out trees.  Minutes later, we could see buildings, then other boats, then the marina and then people.

As we got closer to the destination, the journey became more and more clear.  Though the seas may have been rough at times, though I might have thrown up my Golden Graham cereal from that morning and though the destination was completely out of focus for a while, we were able to see that all the things Dad had done were successful.

Ephesians 2:12-13 says “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

Look at that last part again.  “You who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”  Jesus alters our perspective.  Once removed from the Father, Christ’s blood gets us closer.

Del

We have to delete the negative influences in our lives.  We need to be bold and part with the people, habits, media and situations that make us vulnerable and prone to sin.  This is not an easy thing to do.

There was a time when I didn’t think twice about having an alcoholic drink.  In college, I drank to fit in and that was about it.  I didn’t drink to escape.  (I didn’t have anything to run from.)  I didn’t drink to have a good time.  (I can have a good time anywhere.)  I just drank because everyone else drank.  Everyone loves the idea of “drinking”, but nobody relishes in the “effects of drinking” the day after.  Over time, I started to really question why I was spending money on alcohol or why I was wasting time fighting a hangover the next day.

As I entered the workforce, I learned that a lot of networking was done on bar stools.  Again, I drank because my colleagues were drinking.  I would travel to other markets and people would want to take me out for dinner and drinks, so I went along.  But, I still battled with being sluggish the next day and feeling like I wasn’t being myself.

As I started growing in my faith, I started drinking less.  Not out of guilt, but out of reverence for God.  This meant that I needed to separate myself from my college friends who were having “Beer Olympics” on the weekend.  This also meant that I was ordering a “Diet Coke on the rocks” while the rest of my coworkers were socializing over martinis and draft beer.  I definitely started getting alienated.  My friends called a few less times than normal (many are now incredibly strong in their faith and active leaders in their respective churches) and my coworkers invited me out a lot less.  At work events now, I see the looks when I don’t order a drink.  I hear the jokes the vendors say when I won’t help them fill up their expense tab.

And I’m completely fine with it.

See, I had to delete that part of my life because it wasn’t helping me grow closer to God.  It wasn’t helping me protect myself from gossiping, speaking ill about someone else or using profanity when my guard was down.  A good friend of mine shared with me that he stopped drinking because he didn’t know what struggles with alcohol the people around him might have had.  He didn’t want to enable them or make them feel like they needed to drink when they were around him. I also realized that I could never give a good testimony of God’s great love while I was intoxicated.

Earlier, we looked at Ephesians 4:22-24, but stopped short of the final verses in the chapter.  Verses 25-32 read,

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Once I turned over control of my life and altered my perspective, I had the ability to walk away from an area of my life that wasn’t helpful and where the devil could have gotten a foothold.

Much like in the video above, sometimes we have to just “MOVE!” and let God take over.  With just a couple keystrokes, he shows that he knows exactly what’s going on.  He knows how to troubleshoot our problems.

After all, he wrote the manual.

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One Fish, Two Fish. Dead Fish, Flush Fish.

Dun. Dun. Dun. Another One Bites the Dust.

Sadly, this will be the last post in the Trilogy of the Fish. It started here when we were given two fish (Siggi and Devo) over the weekend. Next, things escalated quickly when Siggi really did go “swimming with the fishes.” Then, yesterday I got the following texts from my wife.

Devo's dead.

Devo’s dead.

In the matter of just a few days, our kids had their first pets, their first experience with death and their first blasé response when confronted with death. Luckily (I think), we still have our loud, fat, missing-toothed bag of fur named Gilligan. He’s a 12ish-year-old cat and a cancer survivor. Yeah, he had a lumpectomy a few years ago. I’m pretty certain that Gilligan is immortal, so my kids can love on him for decades to come.

I got Gilligan when I was in college. He has lived in eight different residences, with two different college roommates, two different dogs, a cat, a wife and now two kids. During the day, the kids constantly want to yell at him, hug him, attempt to cut him with a toy knife (from a kitchen set), sit on him, cuddle with him, ski behind him while holding his tail and chase him. His tolerance for putting up with crap is low. Gilligan goes from I-love-you-I-love-you-pet-me-pet-me to I’m-gonna-punch-you-in-the-face in about six seconds flat.

Gilligan laying on a kid's puzzle box top

Gilligan laying on a kid’s puzzle box top

Gilligan has been a great pet. He’s put up with a lot. He’s brought a lot of laughs. He gave me companionship during some of the biggest moments of my life. He was with me in my first apartment by myself after college. He was with me when I moved into my first house. Gilligan was around when I got married (not in person) and when our kids were born (again, not in person).

Gilligan has helped protect our home, as evidenced here:

There (might) be a day when Gilligan gets bored enough with this world and decides to move on. When he does, our son will certainly wonder where Gilligan has gone. Our kids weren’t around the fish enough to really care about them, but they have been around the fur bag for their entire lives, and over a third of my life.

Once that day comes, it will surely be sad, but I see a silver lining. It gives me a teaching moment to describe a real heaven where we will go one day. I can describe the scene that John writes about in Revelation, minus all the wrath, destruction and pre-tribulational theology. Rylan read the chapter in his kid’s Bible tonight about Revelation. He loves the part that says, “Jesus will return again soon.”

I used to have visions where I was standing at the end of a diving board. Below me was a huge black chasm. The visions made me fearful and filled with anxiety over life, afterlife and my purpose. But, something happened. Once I started growing in my faith, exploring the truth and seeking answers, the visions drifted away. I know where my future home will be. I have complete comfort and peace in knowing where I will be once my body fails me.

In order to prepare for that day, I suppose I should put some thought in what I want done with my body so we can document the instructions. Casket? Cremation? Or flush down the toilet like Devo and Siggi?

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Sometimes life gives you fish.

Sometimes life gives you things you don’t particularly want. Today, life gave us two fish.

We had a fun afternoon at a local splash park celebrating a friend’s daughter’s birthday. The birthday party was Elmo themed and featured a lot of Elmo’s favorite things. So, as a party favor, we got a bowl with two goldfish. Real fish. Living. In a bowl. With water.

This presented a variety of problems. The first (and most obvious) problem – the fish didn’t have names. Rylan quickly named one of them Devo. We named the other one Siggi after a friend of ours who is also small and orange.

The second problem was that we had to transport the fish all the way home without spilling the water or the fish. This dovetailed nicely with the third problem. We weren’t going straight home. We were going to “outside church,” as our son calls it. Our church has a Saturday evening service under a tent in the middle of 200 acres of land that will one day be built upon. We weren’t going home for several hours.

Do we take the fish to the service with us? Do we crack the windows in the car? Will these things boil?

On the way to church, in the midst of me showing people next to us at stoplights that I had a bowl of fish, we realized our fourth problem. We had to feed these things. Or euthanize them. OK, we decided on feeding them. We stopped on the way home and Elizabeth bought some fish food. I learned something today. Walgreen’s sells fish food. And, it costs $4.25. That’s like…a dozen goldfish. We could just not feed them and keep replacing them…OK, we decided again to feed them. Don’t call PETA.

Now, here’s the fifth problem. The fish WILL die. At some point, we are going to have to tell our not-quite-three-year-old son that his fishies died or moved out or went to the store. I’m not ready for that yet.

On the way home tonight, I was thinking about unexpected responsibilities. I thought about when the Samaritan woman ran in to Jesus at the drinking well in John 4. She had no idea he would be there. In fact, she wasn’t expecting anyone to be there. When Jesus approached her, he asked her to get him a drink. She tried to politely point out that Jews and Samaritans didn’t typically hang out. Jesus began to tell this woman about her own life. Jesus knew she had five husbands and was living unfaithfully. At this point, the woman thought he was just a prophet, but he was so much more.

(v. 25) The woman said “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

This lady was simply out to get some water. She was thirsty. Maybe she was going to make dinner and needed water for the pot. She never would have guessed that she was about to encounter the Son of God. She never would have thought that she was going to have her life changed that night. It was supposed to be another ordinary walk to the well, just like the last one, or ten or fifty.

The woman had a choice to make. She could have gone about her business and not have spoken to the Jew that she normally would have avoided. She could have left the well and ignored the conversation. But instead, she was so overwhelmed and convicted about what just happened that she immediately went back to town to tell her friends. She was so overcome that she actually left the water jar behind – the whole reason she was there to begin with.

I’m 164% sure that when I woke up this morning I did not think I’d be coming home with more pets. Our fat, loud cat, Gilligan (who is immortal), is enough. But, now that we have Devo & Siggi, we can embrace the teaching moments. As soon as we got home, we put the fish on the table and we showed Rylan how to feed the fish. In the morning, pending these things are still alive, we will do the same thing again. He will start learning how to care for others. One day (maybe Monday), these fish will die and Rylan will learn a lesson about death. I’m not looking forward to Rylan being sad, but I am looking forward to explaining more to him about God’s love for us.

Until then, meet Devo & Siggi.

fishbowl
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Ron Burgandy is kind of a big deal. I am not.

I am not notable.

The only signature I pass out to people is the one at the bottom of my work email.

When you call my phone, you actually get me.

I do not have an assistant, handler or agent.

I drive myself places.

I can go out in public and go unrecognized.

I do not have merch or swag.

No one has ever lined up to see me.

These are all facts.  But, I did grow up with a bunch of people who are pretty famous now.  I’m from a small beach town in south Florida called Vero Beach.  It’s about half way between Daytona Beach and Miami.  I lived on the beach side of town, about a 5-minute walk from the river and the ocean.  I spent much of my youth hanging out on boats or at the beach.  Vero Beach, for generations, has affectionately been referred to as “Zero Beach” by bored high schoolers.  Not a lot usually happens in Vero Beach, which is why it’s particularly exciting when you can turn on the television and see people you know.

— This begins the name-dropping portion of the blog —

Jake Owen and Mardy Fish

Jake Owen and Mardy Fish.  Photo by Sam Wolfe

I used to play basketball with country star Jake Owen (@jakeowen) and tennis star Mardy Fish (@mardyfish). These guys do regular charity work to raise money for kids from the Vero Beach area.

Tilky Jones

Tilky Jones

Rising actor, musician and Nashville heartthrob Tilky Jones (@tilkymjones) used to come to my birthday parties.  He wasn’t born in Vero Beach, but we went to elementary school together where he rapped an original song “Get Busy, Not Dizzy” (a very Saved by the Bell-esque anti-drug anthem).  On Nashville, Tilky had a recurring role as Hayden Panettiere’s love interest, Sean Butler.

Tiffany (Simons) Corr

Tiffany (Simons) Corr

Tiffany Simons, NBC Sports & NBCSports.com talent, and I went to high school together.  She had a love for photography and is an awesome person to be around.  I don’t think I can remember her not smiling.  I’ve seen her interview pro athletes and cover the Mountain Dew Tour of action sports.

Sam Marine & Scott Stapleton

Sam Marine & Scott Stapleton

Sam Marine (middle) and Scott Stapleton (far right) both play in the successful indie rock band, Phosphorescent (@phosphorescent).  They have recently appeared on several late night talk shows and their new album, Muchacho, has gotten lots of great press and gets plenty of play on my speakers.  I became pretty good friends with Scott throughout high school, mainly during lunch trips to Miami Subs while blaring Pantera or Type O Negative on the way.  I photographed a couple of Scott’s concerts during his days with Dark Angel Divine.

—  This now concludes the name-dropping portion of the blog —

There are plenty of others that are making their mark as notable fashion designers, bloggers, Army Special Forces and lots of other amazing careers as well.

In addition to these former classmates, Vero Beach is also proud to have writers Carl Hiaasen and Stuart Woods associated with it, other musicians like Alison Mosshart and apparently MLB superstar Prince Fielder even went to private school for a couple years in Vero Beach (I had no idea).

Seeing these people on TV is fun, it’s exciting to hear their music or see them on SportsCenter.  You naturally want to cheer for people from your hometown or the college you went to.  It’s nice to celebrate the famous people who walked where you walked and ate where you ate.

I’m completely content with not making anyone’s list of “people I once knew.”  I have no jealousy or desire to have people drop my name.  But, what I do have aspirations to hear one day comes from Matthew 25.

The subject of the parable is a man who is going on a long journey and entrusts some of his money with his servants.  He gives one servant five talents (several years’ wages), another servant two talents and the last servant one talent.  The man receiving five talents invested his money and ended up with five more talents.  The man receiving two talents did the same thing and got two more.  But, the third man buried his talent in a hole.  When the master finally returned home, his servants brought him the talents.

To the servants who invested and increased the money, the master said “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

This is exactly the type of recognition I’m seeking.  See, we are all in different places and have different talents (the skill kind).  Some were born in to wealth, some were born in to a manageable life, some were born in to little.  Some were born into loving homes, some broken homes.  Some were born in to free countries, others were born in to countries fill with war, discrimination and conflict.  Jesus points this out in the parable and emphasizes that it’s what you do with your situation that matters.  It’s about how you respond to what you have and use it to serve your master.

I struggle when I’m around a lot of other mature Christians.  I grew up believing in God, but I wasn’t “saved” until I was 22 and even then, I didn’t start really growing in my faith until 2007 or 2008.  When I’m around other Christian men and women who are constantly quoting Scripture or recalling Bible stories, I feel quite tiny.  This topic came up at a men’s Bible study recently.  A friend of mine confessed the same feelings of inadequacy.

By being faithful to the master, the servants received great praise. “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  How cool is that?  How great would it be to hear the Lord greet us with that when we run through the Pearly Gates.  Despite not having any celebrity status or very public platform, we still have that opportunity.

This is OK.  Perfectly OK.

I’m never going to be a pastor with many published books or with a speaking tour.  I’m not going to have people tuning in to see what I will do on TV this week.  I’m not going to sell tickets to anyone to see me perform. Despite all this, I still have talents that I am called to use in my circles of influence.

My prayer is that I will use the gifts I was given to completely serve and glorify God.  I want God secretly cheering when I’m being obedient in my service.  I want him to look out at my life and say, ‘Way to go!  I knew him back when he was in elementary school,’ or ‘Hey, I created that guy!’  I want God to be proud of how I love people and how I show God’s love to people.  Love is something you share, not something you keep inside.  If I give enough of it out and make it compound in to more love, maybe then God can say ‘Well done, come and share my happiness!’

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My childhood heroes were shiny men in underwear

Confession.

I loved wrestling when I was a kid.  I had a subscription to WWF Magazine (before they were forced to trade in the F and become WWE).  I took out all the posters and wallpapered my room with them.  I had shirts.  I had Wrestling Buddies.  I had Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart replica sunglasses.  I had all the action figures and the ring.  I checked out all the old Wrestlemania VHS tapes from Video Express and watched them over and over.  I tuned in to TBS at 8:05 or 7:35 or whatever weird time they wanted to put on NWA/WCW.

Below are my top 10 favorite wrestlers as kid.  For you wrestling purists out there, keep in mind, this is not a ‘best-of-all-time’ list or a ‘best-technical-wrestler’ list.  This is just the guys that I loved the most.  When you’re a kid, you gravitate toward the heroes (or ‘faces’ in wrestling-speak) or the guys that were really unique.

First, a few guys that were honorable mentions: Bam Bam Bigelow, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, “Flyin” Brian Pillman, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka.

Here’s the list.

wrestler_red_rooster

10. “The Red Rooster” Terry Taylor.  OK, OK.  This one is really a stretch.  I didn’t actually love watching this guy (but, wrestling fans know how good Taylor truly was).  He wasn’t exciting and his gimmick was a complete joke.  There was nothing threatening or heroic about The Red Rooster.  But, he was from my hometown of Vero Beach, Florida.  I loved hearing the announcers say our city name.

wrestlers_rockers

9. The Rockers.  Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty were high flyers and had a ton of synchronized moves.  They were very fun to watch.

wrestler_arnanderson

8. Arn Anderson.  He might be the least glamorous person on this list, but I loved “The Enforcer.”  Even as a kid, I could see how good he really was.

wrestler_machoman

7. “Macho Man” Randy Savage.  Look, if you pretended you were a wrestler, the elbow drop was definitely in your pretend repertoire.

wrestler_jakeroberts

6. Jake “The Snake” Roberts.  I actually hate snakes, but I did love his DDT.

wrestler_ricflair

5. Ric Flair.  The second Four Horseman on my list.  “The Nature Boy” could talk the talk and walk the walk.  I think I mainly just loved how he would flip completely over the turnbuckles and then fall flat on his face.  Side note.  I met Flair a couple years ago at a Charlotte Bobcats game. Wooooooo!

wrestler_hogan

4. Hulk Hogan.  It was impossible to be a kid and NOT love the Hulkster.  I used to take the dry cleaning bags my mom would bring home and pretend to rip them off like Hulk ripped off his shirt.

wrestler_roadwarriors

3. The Road Warriors.  OOOOOOOOhhhhh whaaaaat aaaaaa ruuuuuusssssshhhhh!  They were big, they were bad, they were the best tag team around.

wrestler_sting

2. Sting.  He was the epitome of a hero. He was colorful, he yelled a lot.  Sting always played the underdog when he was fighting Ric Flair, Vader and others.

the-ultimate-warrior

1. The Ultimate Warrior.  This guy was awesome.  Especially when you’re 10-years-old.  His entrance music was exciting.  The Warrior sprinted to the ring and his arm tassels flew along behind him.  He wore face paint and he was completely ripped.  I loved the Ultimate Warrior so much that my parents named our Boston Whaler after him for me.  Looking back today, I can see that The Warrior was not a very good wrestler and he was completely bat-crap crazy.  Want proof?  Here you go.

Confession.

I still like wrestling.  I record Monday Night Raw each week. I read wrestler biographies.  I read the dirt sheets (websites & blogs that talk about industry info, behind the scenes gossip and speculation).  I’m a geek.

The difference between now and then is perspective.

I had a childhood friend who was trying to tell me that wrestling was fake.  I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accept this reality.  I also didn’t understand how it was fake.  To me, fake meant that it wasn’t happening.  I knew that Santa Claus was fake.  But, I didn’t realize that by fake my friend was telling me that it was scripted or pre-determined.  I thought because they were actually throwing each other around, it mean that wrestling was real.  I had no idea that these guys were pulling punches and helping each other land correctly as they suplexed the other guy into next week.

Here are a few other differences from then and now.

Then: It was real.  Don’t tell me it’s fake, you’re wrong.

Now:  Yes, I know it’s fake, just let me watch it in peace.  It’s just as scripted as “reality” shows.

Then: Ripped dudes were battling other gladiators for glory and a gold belt.

Now: Yes, I realize that it’s a little weird that these shiny, hairless guys in their skivvies are aggressively holding each other.

Then: It is socially acceptable to wear face paint, stuff $100 bills in an unconscious person’s mouth, settle disputes in a cage or talk your parents into paying $50 for you to watch a pay-per-view.

Now: It is socially acceptable to privately look at wrestling websites, have in-depth conversations with your three other friends that still “believe” and talk your spouse into letting you pay $50 for a pay-per-view.

Then: The heroes were the guys that everyone cheered for.

Now: My modern-day heroes are becoming as taboo to talk about as a grown man watching wrestling.

Walk up to a stranger in the park and ask them who their favorite Royal Rumble winner of all-time was and see what their reaction is.  Now, walk up to a different stranger and ask them who their favorite Biblical character is.  The reaction is quite possibly the same.

My heroes are the people who obey God.  They are the missionaries that serve in hostile countries.  They are those Christ chose to follow him all the way to the cross.  In fact, it’s Christ himself.

I would spend hours with my friends trying to emulate our favorite wrestlers.  With enough practice, I could get the moves down.  I could recite the catch phrases and replicate the mannerisms.  Now, I strive to model my life after Christ.

I want my son to have authentic heroes.  I want him to understand that the wrestler he might root for are simply characters.  They are personalities that were meticulously vetted and practiced in order to elicit the biggest response from the crowd.  I want my son to feel comfortable with his own personality and that he doesn’t have to appeal to the masses.

In order for him to understand this, I have to be the best dad I can be.  I need to be a real person, free of face paint, costumes and facades that I might feel pressured to hide behind.  I need to be the same Christian in public as I am at church or at the dinner table.  I need to be the same disciple using the same language praying before bed as I would cheering at a Dolphins game.

One of the bad guys (‘heels’ in wrestling-speak) I despised the most was “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase.  The Million Dollar Man’s gimmick is that he was above everyone else because he had all the money.  At one point in his career, DiBiase was so frustrated that he couldn’t win the championship, that he just had one made…out of diamonds.  The Million Dollar Man’s most famous catch phrase was “everybody’s got a price.”

Indeed, I had a price.  I had a price for my sins and luckily for me, that price has already been paid.  Christ died on the cross so I can be forgiven.  He took the pain.  He felt the wrath that I deserved.

My kids (heck, my friends, my family, my coworkers, everyone) need to understand that our hero should be someone far greater than we are.  Our hero should be someone that we are comfortable not truly comprehending.  Our hero should be someone we’re willing to root for even though it might not be popular to do so.  Our hero should be Christ (plus, he’s pretty ripped in most images and could probably force Satan to submit with a mean figure-four leglock).

Who were the wrestlers you loved the most as a kid?  Who are your heroes now?

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