My roommate and I had lunch today with one of our heroes along with a few others from our Seminary. During the meal, while we were aware of who we were with, there was also the awareness that he was just being a guy like the rest of us. The conversation was entirely approachable and the ride back to the Seminary had some conversations going on. (It wasn’t just us there.)
It reminded me of the misconceptions that we often give to people. The first one is in the intellectual life. We get the view that all these people do is spend their time reading and studying and that they never do anything else. Yet as much as I hold to this misconception, I have yet to find anyone who really fits it.
Instead, they are going through the questions in the same way and what we need to remember at times is that no one was born with this knowledge. They had to learn it just as we all do. I’m still learning much. There is much that I’d say I know, but I find out more and more that there is much that I don’t and that makes it all the more fascinating. The ideas that I understand today, there was a time when they didn’t make much sense. It was a progression.
Why bring myself up? Because I’ve had people say the same things about me before. If one were to visit my place, while you would find several books, you’d find several other things as well. You’d find several DVDs and you’d find several video games for instance. I’m not a sports fan, but I’ve got other things I enjoy like everyone else.
Another area I think we misrepresent people is in the area of holiness. Sorry people, but we all still struggle with personal holiness. I would not describe myself at this point as having a rich and abundant prayer life. It’s often seen at this point as a duty that I have to do. I wish I could tell you that I walk away from every reading of the Scriptures with great and new insights. Heck. I wish I could tell you that I look forward to approaching the Scriptures every day. I could tell you that, but it would just be a lie.
I would also like to tell you that I don’t have struggles in my thought life and I don’t wrestle with personal issues. That would be a lie as well. Do I do ministry and try to teach the truth? Yes. However, I am just like anyone else. If I am cut, I will bleed the same way that anyone else bleeds.
My heroes are like that as well. None of us are perfect. No matter where you are in this life, you need someone to come alongside you at times. Maybe that’s part of our problem today. We’ve got this idea of the normal Christian life. The normal things are always seen as good things though. Maybe we should admit the normal thing we all have in common. We’re all fallen and we’re all recovering.
Now I do have heroes, but keep in mind with your heroes as I try with mine that they are people and not gods. They can make mistakes and they have struggles just as you do. In that, you should pray for them. If I’m one on your list, I assure you I definitely need your prayers.
After all, I bleed too.