Monday, May 12, 2008

Heroes Who Quit and Why: Part 2

I think my last blog when on too long. Lemme sum up:

1) Heroes get worn out - though it is preventable by refreshment and re-focusing
2) Heroes get tired of "gazing in the dark Abyss". They want evil to go away.

Now, I'm gonna ramble a bit, but I have in the back of my mind some issues I have dealt with a pastor, teacher and caregiver.

You begin to think: why do I have to do this for the love of God?

Only one reason will suffice. You do it out of love. A love for God.

Many people have the mistaken idea Jesus taught us to "love our neighbor as ourselves" as a Primary teaching.

Nope. It was Secondary. The Primary was to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." The second is LIKE it: "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Note that. You will not be able to love if you do not know and experience love first. You can't give what you ain't got.

And Heroes need love to keep going. Unconditional and powerful love. Sounds dumb, doesn't it? It isn't.

Love, by the way, is NOT a romantic feeling or brief liaison. It is best defined not as an emotion, but as an act of the will. Something you DO, including speaking encouraging words, counts as acts of love. There are several "Love languages", says Gary Smalley. We're all wired to express or receive love in certain ways. (Book link)

And Heroes are people who fight back cruelty and injustice and all that is dark or cynical and cruel by bringing love and light into the situation, restoring hope, defending the weak, and more.

But after a season, they quit. And here is the ultimate reason why:

The no longer love doing what they were doing.

They did it too long or on too little resources.

They were not fed, encouraged or strengthened by another. They are drained dry and then, when it is the right time, the Enemy of Man strikes.

Keep the Supply Lines Going
The principle is simple: stop an army's supply lines, and you stop an army.

So Heroes will often quit for needing love - or at least some false perception of love. Suddenly it makes the reason preachers and or politicians get found in hotel rooms with prostitutes understandable, huh?

Now I don't mean justifiable. I mean understandable. Why divorces happen. Why a spouse who spends 60 hours a week taking care of the family suddenly up and leaves "for no reason." Why employees quit "good paying jobs."

There's a reason alright. There's always a reason.

We need love to keep going. We need lots of it. We need, in fact, an inexhaustible supply.

"You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength."

How can we, unless He first loves us? Strangely, that is precisely the answer John gives:

"In this is love: not that we loved God, but He loved us and sent His son to die for us."

Or as Paul said: "But God demonstrates His love for us in this: that while we still sinners (utterly disobedient), Christ died for us."

Theologians call this beautiful action "penal substitution." Out of love, God paid for ALL of our sins first. This removes the barrier and enables Him to love on us without hypocrisy.

We become enabled, empowered by this love. We have an unlimited resource. An eternal fountain. Yes, we are getting mystical.

But its either that or getting cynical.

And cynicism is only good in small doses. A meal of it will kill you.

So what "meal" shall we have? The fluffy, "let's just all LUV one another" meal of empty-headed positivism, with no basis in actual fact? No.

The meal we shall eat is "real food and drink": it is the blood of Christ, shed for our sins. The hero of heroes, the loving Lord of Sacrifice. A real crucifixion, a real burial, a real resurrection, and therefore, a real justification.

He paid for it and wisely laughs at us. To co-opt another famous phrase, perhaps Jesus would say: "Eat, drink and be merry with MY blood!"

"Apart from Me, you can do nothing!"

Jesus knew what He was doing: He was enabling angry, bitter, wounded people the opportunity to experience unconditional love. He has paid - but the secret even most Christ-followers don't get is that He wants you to draw your love from Him d a i l y.

"Give us this day our daily bread..."

That bread is not only our physical needs, but our emotional, mental and spiritual needs.

Jesus knows this. He invites us to feast on His power.

And thankfully, He is a Hero who will never quit.

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."


Go feed on Jesus, hero. And be sure to Super-Size it.


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