Most of us would like to do something noble or great. Perhaps have our names in lights…
We are captivated by outstanding speakers, renowned scientists, business tycoons, and athletes who seem to do the impossible. And we sigh because our lives appear to be so routine, pedestrian and unsung.
As I observe the men with whom I am involved, however, I often see nobility and true character being forged in them as they quietly work through extremely trying circumstances. These silent heroes of the faith are, for the most part unnoticed. Little appreciated. Rarely applauded.
One man has a son who is severely ill with a disease that will in all probability take his life within the next few years. The boy’s unimaginable suffering permeates the family. But there is a calm grace about the way they are handling it. No whining or grousing with God as they walk through their Gethsemane.
A second man is an executive in a company where the top management steps on anyone who excels or shows any evidence of genius. He refuses however to play the corporate political games that are necessary to garner the coveted positions. Brilliant in his field, he purposely remains understated as he unobtrusively facilitates his subordinates in order to ensure their success.
A third friend is enmeshed in an unsolvable marriage. Yet I never hear one word of complaint, as he chooses to exhibit compassion and graciousness toward his spouse.
These men probably will never have their names in lights. But in my book they are the real heroes! Heroes who are becoming Christlike.
My guess is that you too have your Gethsemane. You too have your cross. And your cross is not the gold-plated, smooth or shiny model. Rather, it is rugged and bruising, and with you all the time.
How you decide to respond to that cross will spell the difference between a life of crippling bitterness that diminishes your inner spiritual life, or a life of praise that enables you to surmount, and ascend.
“Each (man) shall bear his own private burden… Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you… because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (Galatians 6:5 – Wuest Translation; 1 Corinthians 15:58)