At the age of fourteen, I decided to save the planet through music. With a now-classic Peavey T-40 bass guitar in my hands, I wanted to rock the world—or at the very least, the basement of my suburban Atlanta home—in the great tradition of Molly Hatchet, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and other Southern rock band sensations. I grew out my hair, donned skintight Levi’s, wore oversized Aviator sunglasses, and spent endless hours experimenting with various insignia to distinguish my garage band from all the others. In the end, however, the entire exercise only served to satiate my overactive adolescent ego.
Life has a way of dampening dreams, and the sometimes cruel reality of our daily existence teaches us to relinquish hope in favor of lesser goals that somehow seem more “realistic.” Yet over the last few months, we have been listening to the inspiring stories of many women in the Bible who took risks and made sacrifices to make sure that God’s plan for the world was not derailed. Though mostly ordinary, these women nevertheless were heroic. They believed in and committed themselves to God’s will and found themselves as a result recorded forever in the annals of salvation history.
As we come to the last episode of our message series, Wonder Women: Female Heroes of the Bible, we must acknowledge that we’ve learned many lessons from these women. In particular, we’ve learned that a hero for God:
· Does the right thing in the right way;
· Protects innocent life;
· Rises up and overcomes obstacles;
· Gives thanks to God always;
· Stays loyal to others;
· Makes peace in moments of conflict;
· Shows generosity even in hard times;
· Never remains silent against evil;
· Is devoted to God always; and
· Models humble obedience for others.
If our message series has taught us anything, it is that heroism, even in our cynical world today, is not only possible but expected. Idealism is not reserved for the naiveté of youth, and time spent reflecting on the heroic acts God calls forth from us each day is not tantamount to the impractical navel-gazing of a teenager.
Take a few moments today to consider your role as a hero for God. How is God asking you to inject a dose of heroism into your day-to-day world of work, school, family life, and leisure activities? Which of the Wonder Women stories resonated with you the most, and where can you learn to grow in wisdom, patience, and valor from their example?
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the heroic figures we’ve been studying were real women with real fears and hardships of their own, but who followed God’s lead nonetheless. We can do the same. Whatever your gender, you can follow the example of the Wonder Women in the Bible. Because a hero lives within each one of us.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
Father Roger Gustafson