1/09/2007

Death of a Hero...

This Christmas, I bought myself some presents. Now, this is not a normal occurance, as most Christmases I have been without a paycheck. But, I've had a steady job for a little over a year and a half now, and as Scarlett Johansson says in the L'Oreal commercial, "...I'm worth it." So, I got myself a subscription to Entertainment Weekly. My first issue came this past Friday, and what I found inside was quite a surprise...

Michael Jordan, 43, and his wife of 17 years, Juanita, jointly filed for divorce on December 29th.

For some reason, reading about the marital dissolution of the star of Space Jam* troubled me for the better part of two days. I couldn't figure out why until today. That's when it hit me: Up until I read that blurb, Michael Jordan was perfect. The man is the greatest basketball player in the history of the sport. As far as I know, he's led an honorable personal life. He has a sweet line of footwear. I think that, onetime, he even saved a baby from a river that had flooded... with lava. Anyway, I had heard rumors of his infidelity before, but I chose to deny their validity. So, here I am; one less hero.

I've had quite a few heroes die off in my lifetime. But this one was different. This one was huge. This was a fall all the way from the top of the mountain.

It reminded me of one of the reasons why I got into youth ministry. My dad split when I was fourteen. So, for the majority of my life, I've gone without a positive paternal paragon to pattern myself after. (I heart alliteration.) So, when my youth pastor, Mark Shelley, invested so heavily in me, I decided that the best thing I could do with my life would be to do the same for others.

I think the world needs more of that type of thing. Believe me, I'm not putting myself up on a pedestal. But how much better off would the world be if each generation sought to mentor and positively influence the next? Editor's Note: For a great example of this, watch the movie Pay It Forward.

I love my job. I hope that, one day, I can be someone's hero like Mark Shelley was to me...

*You should, under no circumstance, watch the movie Space Jam. It's a horrible, horrible movie. There are a few shining moments of redemption which feature Bill Murray in his typical, brilliant form. But, you would be better served renting Groundhog Day or Ghostbusters 1 & 2. Take my word for it.

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