Over the past few years the phrase, “Never meet your heroes,” has taken on new meaning. In the information age we live in, we have ready access to the celebrities we see on television. We read their tweets, listen to their interviews and get their personal take on the subject of the day. In many of these cases I hate to learn what I have guessed to be true all along. A large majority of these folks are not Believers and have little to no Biblical worldview of life. I wish we still lived in the era of ignorance where we could watch a movie or attend a sporting event or enjoy the latest song without also getting the person’s opinion on politics, religion and how the world should operate. Listening to most of these folks wax on about their personal bias reveals how disconnected they are with reality. Having no personal experience in a related field they go on about how things should be as they speak down to us from their ivory tower. It’s getting harder for me to separate the person I just heard bash my belief system from the one I just saw throw an unbelievable pass or bring about an emotional attachment to a character on the big screen. How are we to balance our cultural heroes with the actual people we know them to be? Do we give up sports and movies all together? Pick a social issue and make our stand in defiance? I’m not sure what the right answer is and I don’t know that there is a one size fits all solution, but I am glad to learn that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Reading an article this morning by Professor Jared Wilson on his hero Tom Brady I felt a sense of kinship.
He writes, “Evangelicals in particular are not as taken with movie stars or politicians (as a class) to the extent that their neighbors are, but we do love our athletes…They represent the best of us. They carry on their backs the projection of our selves…God’s people have always had an inordinate bent toward strongmen, and athletes are the strongmen who have emerged from among us…I love Tom Brady. But my love for him is complicated. He is not a believer in Christ. He is undoubtedly an idolater of his sport. And as with all idolatry, the gods will let you down in the end.” https://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/jesus-loves-you-tom-brady/
Professor Wilson goes on to recount a 60 Minutes interview Brady did when he had only three rings to his credit. In the interview Brady says, “Why do I still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what it is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, ‘God, it’s got to be more than this.’ I mean this isn’t, this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be.” When interviewer Steven Kroft asked him, “What’s the answer?”, Brady responded, “I wish I knew. I wish I knew.” https://www.facebook.com/60minutes/videos/in-a-2005-interview-tom-brady-wondered-whether-there-was-more-to-life-than-three/808396986179808/ Tom Brady now has seven rings and his answer is still the same, “I wish I knew. I wish I knew.”
I can’t help but think about King Solomon and his “all is meaningless” evaluation of his life. Celebrities can serve as warning signs to us. You can have it all and still come up short. A life with no meaning or purpose is no life at all. Gaining more of the world can cause us to sink further into despair because things never live up to the promise. We don’t want to believe that reality, but we all know that it is true.
As we cheer on our heroes let us remember they are men and women just like us, sinners in need of a Savior. Pray for their salvation as you pray for their success. You can only be on top for a season. On the way down, pray that the Lord will put someone in their path that will lead them to the answer we all seek.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
Serving the Savior,
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