Points to Ponder: You Could Be the Hero

Points to Ponder
You Could Be the Hero

The unsung heroes are the ones whose names are forgotten, who never have a monument erected in their honor, and who pass through this life quietly. You may be one of them - right now.
In fact, Jesus taught His disciples that if you are truly great, you will not be striving for recognition.
"If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all" (Mark 9:35).
As the disciples followed Jesus and witnessed His power, they were anticipating status, prestige, and position. But Jesus defined true greatness. You want to be a hero?
"But Jesus called them to Himself and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave...'" (Matthew 20:25-27).
When you admire some famous star for their talents and giftedness, do you ever wonder who was behind it all? Sometimes it's a parent, a teacher, a custodian at school; usually an average person whose name is unknown to most.
Michelangelo was one of the greatest artists of all time. He was only 14 years old when he sought training from Bertoldo di Giovanni, a highly skilled sculptor at that time. The fame of the great Michelangelo is known around the world because of the persistent dedication of this gifted man whom virtually no one knows today.
Bertoldo knew that this young teenager was very talented. He also knew that highly gifted people can be tempted to get by with "good enough." Because they have abilities that far exceed most of their peers, even a half-hearted effort will produce what most admirers would consider superb. Their fame grows, but their character does not.
King Duncan tells the story of Bertoldo's dedication to instilling within Michelangelo a desire to give himself completely to his work. One day he came upon his young student in the studio, toying with a piece of sculpture far beneath his abilities. Bertoldo stomped across the room, hammer in hand, and smashed it to pieces. He told him, "Michelangelo, talent is cheap; dedication is costly."
Suppose Bertoldo had gone on to pursue greatness in his own work? He chose rather to serve as a mentor to one who had the potential to go even farther. Bertoldo would serve as his leader and encourager. And who would know it?
I recall a gifted carpenter, Ken, whose home and much of its furnishings were built by him. I asked how he had learned his trade. He'd raised and supported his family with this remarkable gift. Ken told me that there was a neighbor who built things. He would hang around the man and watch. Then the man began showing him how to "measure twice, cut once," how to do things right; that what you build with your hands carries your name on it. Ken was a man of character and integrity, an artist with his tools. His family loved him. His work still carries his name though he is now with the Lord. The man who taught him to be a "master carpenter"? I never knew his name; an unsung hero who paid attention to a boy who was paying attention to him.
You don't have to be a master at something, or a gifted person of influence. You can change lives with the power of serving. Your name may never make the headlines or the TV news but you can be a star in someone's life. For instance:
* A widow misses her husband: ask his name, get to know him and let her tell you stories. She'll love you for it.
* The waitress is having a rough day. Notice that. You be the one who smiles. Check her name tag; use her name with a gentle tone.
* A person obviously needs to talk. Sit down and be the ear he/she needs.
* Go beyond, "How are you?" and find out the real answer.
Every hero has at least one thing in common: they take time to care.
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4).
Be somebody's hero today.

Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days.) www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com