Tag Archives: moving forward

Heroes amidst Hedonism

For years our self-indulgent society has been poisoning our sense of social decency and responsibility.

Instant gratification.

Instant pleasure.

Instant results.

If we wait for anything, we are impatient and cranky feeling an exaggerated sense of entitlement–we deserve to be served first, fast and well. The rest of the world can go straight to…well, you get my point.

Which begs the question…where are all the heroes? The selfless individuals who put others first and think of the reward…

And then I stop with that line of thinking too, because let’s face it–the heroes of the past, the heroes of today, everyone who has ever done anything at all that could be considered truly great…they’re all just humans. Humans with major flaws, but humans with big hearts too.

This week I had my students complete a character sketch for King Arthur, who (as it happens) is an legendary, Romantic hero who may or may not have actually existed, but the values he stood for are certainly very real–as are his very human flaws. Then, because Arthur is the ‘Once and FUTURE’ King, I had then do a sketch for a modern Arthur. It got real quick.

They said things like…

  • 20160218_113108He wants to see a world without war.
  • He sees a world that needs to be fixed.
  • He reacts to the opinions of others.

What struck me the most was the visual representations. In one, Arthur was naked save for a pair of boxer shorts. I don’t know if my students meant this to be as deeply revealing (no pun intended) of a hero’s character–but being stripped down to the skin keeps a person from hiding behind masks.

Masks made up of labels. Fabric. Materialistic nonsense.

It takes us back to a place where people are real. VZM.IMG_20160216_195330

Reminiscent of the garden, when Adam and Eve first introduced sin into the world and realized not only were the
y naked, but they were wearing their shame. Which is, really, what we need in this world. People, leaders, heroes who are stripped down to their core self to recognize their shame and own their true selves rather than continually trying to be what others have constructed for them.

Unfortunately, the world hasn’t changed that much. We say that we’re living in troubled times–but the world has always been troubled. It’s what sin does to the world. What makes the difference is the leaders and heroes we raise up during those troubled times. They don’t have to be perfect. They just need to be real. 20160216_184718 (1)

Adjusting to Change

“Just keep swimming!”

“To infinity and beyond!”

“Adventure is out there!”

“Keep moving forward!”

The words are different, but the message is the same. In order to be successful, you can’t be stagnate. You have to move, change, adapt, evolve. It’s a basic principle of life…so why are we so resistant to it?

Because change is scary. Unknown. Different.

It’s the same reason why things like discrimination and hate exist—humans, for some awful reason, are programmed to be terrified of anything that is different than what they are “used to”; what the “know”; what they think is “right”.

Personally I think it stems back to the Garden of Eden—instinct and reasoning, fear and hate, knowledge of good and evil—none of it was ever supposed to be a part of the equation. But once it was introduced—once it became a part of the equation, well, now we have to deal with it. Now we have to use it for good, and not evil.

Because change doesn’t have to be scary.

The unknown doesn’t have to euthanize common sense.

Differences can unite rather than divide us.

If we let them.

This is not a post crusading for a cause, it is simply a reflection—because recently I decided to move. To change everything I’ve known, uproot myself from one place and leave all my friends and most of my family and settle in another place. Granted, it’s not totally foreign—it’s closer to my sister and her family—but she’s all I have here. That’s different.

I thought I’d be more nervous about this change—but sometimes change is exactly what you need to move forward. And if you have stopped moving forward in your life…then what, exactly, are you doing?

That’s not to say that making changes is easy, (I’ve already Xena-ed a cockroach and sprinkled toxic holy water over a couple of ridiculous sized spiders for one thing) but as I continue down this path I’m reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Living in fear of the unknown is not an option (In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be an option for anyone, but we’ve not achieve perfection, so I’ll just keep praying on that one). Living for a future where the possibilities are endless—well, that’s my kind of change.

So I guess I’ll keep swimming forward to infinity and adventure somewhere over that rainbow.

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Ashley Carmichael is the author of Valerie’s Vow, a Christian Romance which can be purchased at www.secondwind.com or Amazon. Follow Ashley on twitter @amcarmichael13 and Facebook.