In my last post in this series I explored what happens when we set our expectations for our heroes too high. But sometimes, many times, our heroes simply fail. There is something they promise they can’t deliver, an expectation they can’t measure up to, a situation they can’t fix. We don’t expect it. Our heroes are supposed to be able to take care of it. They are supposed to measure up. In the end, they are human, just like the rest of us. They have faults.
We see it everyday in the news: A pastor who gives into the temptations of sexual sin. A social worker who is exposed to be corrupt. A parent who is abusing their children. Sometimes it feels we see it so much we become numb to it, or cynical.
However, for those close to the fallen hero it can be an earth-shattering experience. These are the people who are supposed to protect us. The people who are supposed to be there for us. If they can’t, then who will? How will we make it? What will we do next, and who will help us get there?
I wish I had an easy answer.
I wish I could say that when you are fumbling in the darkness trying to get through that someone else will step in and make it all better.
But that’s not always true.
You’re left alone, by yourself, trying to make it through.
There are a few things we can do in times like this:
Find other heroes: There are others you rely on; a parent, spouse, teacher, friend. Lean on them, if they are ok with it, take advantage of them…not in a bad way, but when you need help don’t be afraid to ask.
Help from other ages: Not all our heroes are still with us. Sometimes the wise counsel of those who have gone before is needed to help us get through. Pick up a book by your favorite author. Get emotional nourishment from the bible, or a good devotional. Sit at the feet of those who have come before and recorded their advice for us.
Be a hero to yourself: Maybe this crisis is an opportunity to begin to learn how to take care of yourself in a new way. Find new ways of motivating yourself. Treat yourself to something special. Intentionally spend time with yourself…and be good to yourself.
Rely on our ultimate hero and savior: I’ll be writing an entire post on this at a later point, but as the poem “footprints” so beautifully portrays, sometimes when we are out of energy, we need our God to carry us…and he does. It may not always feel like it, but God is always available to us. Sometimes when we are at our lowest, instead of working hard to get out we need to simply stop and rest at the feet of the hero.