Don't Worry - You're Not the Hero
Don’t worry – you’re not the hero of your own story.
Wait, what? Are you trying to tell me that I am not the heroine of this saga – the one I have already been living out? This one, the one I breath in and out each day? Is it your suggestion that the tale unfolding, building in momentum, where I play the triumphant protagonist whose life spins strands of bliss laced with solid gold tinsel has been a farce? The premise that I prevail, I win, am the self-made champion, carved out of obscurity by my own clever, bootstrapping acrobatics, shrewd dealings, and genius maneuvers is thwarted? But how? What do you mean?
My grooming has prepared me and enlightened me to my pedigree – building in the climax of my own story. My serendipitous placement within my environment, bloodline and general status are for my use, my benefit and for my renown. Right? Has it not been the honing of my own sharp-witted intellect, astute and nimble dealings that will establish my lot?
If not me, then whom is the paragon, the victor, the hero? If my story is not to highlight me, then for what purpose is this prose written?
My role, in which I have long-believed to have been so perfectly cast, nay – the part forged specific for me, where all things point to me is in fact a total misunderstanding? Are you saying that what I have believed about my own life story has been founded in erroneous truths birthing misgivings of my foundational bedrock?
This news has flipped me on my head.
If it is not me, then who? For whom is this story written?
You are not the hero and it is not all about you.
You will not always slay the giant. Furthermore, the giant you seek to destroy may very well be the key ingredient to your success, the sharpening of your sword. By your own hands you will not achieve all that your heart desires. You cannot name it and claim it. You cannot simply set your mind to it and achieve any and all things you choose to relentlessly muscle towards. Tenacity is a gift, one in fact, I have been given, however no overt focus and sheer determination will get me to the top.
Indeed, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you [Philippians 4:13] however what we often miss in this passage is the previous verse 12 “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want;” What Paul is saying here is enduring all things and finding contentment in them, not the commonly understood meaning fictionally presented that I can swim the English Channel, though I can swim little more than a side stroke, or that I can be first chair cellist in the New York Philharmonic, though never played one and am already middle-aged unlikely to learn a new instrument, much less master it.
Sure, there are plenty of things you can achieve, will attain, and should pursue. You have generous gifting and talents unique and special just for you. You are remarkably and wonderfully made. [Psalm 139:14] and should use them and apply them with your whole heart, working as unto the Lord. [Colossians 3:23] But consider this, are you truly capable of creating and sustaining your own happiness? Do you even know from what source its’ zenith rises?
I for one have a closet full of retired happiness. Vacation photos of the most remarkable sights birthing happy smiles fill my albums. I have set goals and met many of my heart’s aspirations. But the happiness did not last. Quickly gone, if not entirely forgotten is the bliss found in last year’s Christmas presents. I can hardly even remember what I did for my birthday in years past, though I am confident that at the time the happiness sourced in those activities were believed to be integral to my contentment. New cars, homes, careers, degrees, trips, friendships, fashion fads and hair style – all things I have found levels of happiness in, yet the pleasures faded.
Often, I have thought; if only get this or that, visit here or there, and arrive at the X on my life’s map of dreams – then I will be happy. All to find out that upon arrival I was not happy at all, or if momentarily satisfied, it waned.
You do not hold the key to your own success, happiness, or well-being.
And that’s okay. It is better than okay, it is great news! Maybe the best news!
At first this may sound harsh and forlorning but let me explain.
The premise that it is all up to me is daunting. It is disparaging to contemplate the vastness within the void of my capabilities. I do not like admitting it, as I indeed like to believe the flowery empty fluff telling me that I am the master, I hold the keys and the great wide open eagerly awaits acquaintance with my greatness.
Albeit feel-good chatter and well intending adoration, it is an embellishment that wildly misleads me to my own bewilderment. The idea that I must master each of the intricate skills required to ‘have it all’, the idea that the beast will fall at my feeble joust aligns me for sure and vast disappointment.
So, Who is the Hero? And Who does the heavy lifting? … let’s read:
I do not do this for your sake, but for the sake of My holy name, I will honor the holiness of My great name, that all the nations shall know that I am the Lord when I am honored in you before their eyes.
I will sprinkle clean water on you; and you shall be clean
I will cleanse you from all your filthiness
I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit within you
I will take the heart of stone out of you and give you a heart of flesh
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues and to be careful to keep my laws
Then you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
I will deliver you from all your uncleanness
I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field
I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake
But for the sake of my Holy name
From Ezekiel 36:22-32
Ezekiel is pretty clear here; The Lord tells us through Ezekiel that the hero simply stated is God. That He is the hero and all glory and honor, adoration and applause are to go to Him and that when He is honored in us, everyone around us will also know who He is.
Ezekiel goes on to write the many ways God will take care of us, that it is Him who does the manual labor in our souls and provides us with prosperity. It is all Him and all for Him. Period. The Lord God Almighty becoming flesh through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins – He is the Hero, and His saving grace is a generous gift all pointing back to His Holy name. We simply get to benefit as heirs to the Father, receiving the free gifts given to his children, just because we believe.
God will supply your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:19] He causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him, as called according to His purpose for them. [Romans 8:28] For He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. He promises to come to you and listen when you call on Him in prayer. He promises that when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. [Jeremiah 29:11-13]
We are to give all glory to God who is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires thoughts or hopes according to the power that works in us! [Ephesians 3:20-21] Imagine your most bodacious goal, farthest aim or deepest hidden desire. He has exceedingly better for you than any of your wildest dreams! Now how is that for great news!?
However, there is a key principle to understand. His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. As far as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than thoughts. [Isaiah 55:8-9]
The God of all creation will bust open your paradigm, split the shell – overflowing from within. He will extend the shoreline, multiply the bounty, and inflate the values.
You thought your goals were big? That your muscle, intellect, grit and tenacity were required for the audacious goals you had penciled? God has more, possibly different, but will be more than you can even imagine! Marvelous, mind-blowing goodness!
God has bigger, better and more extravagance for you than you even believed possible. However, they may not look at first glance as treasures once measured by your own scales. No, your riches, outlined for you and gifted by Our Heavenly Father will never fade, never tarnish, never be stolen, perverted, or destroyed. [from Matthew 6:19-21]
Before you knew the Creator, before you invited The Spirit to come in, gifting you with His treasures you saw things askew, not as they truly are, only as the veiled resemblance of what they could be. But now – now you see the natural world supernaturally and the ordinary – extraordinarily!
Before I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. [Job 42:3] Take today to dedicate yourself to the Lord, for tomorrow He will do marvelous things among you. [Joshua 3:5] He does great and unsearchable things, marvelous things without number! [Job 5:9] For He came to bring Life, Life abundant! [John 10:10]
God promises to send the Holy Spirit to come in and do the heavy lifting for you. You simply have to receive it. Just like last year’s decorative Christmas socks from Aunt Sue – simply receive the gift! Nothing owed in return. She just loves decorative socks and loves giving. So does God! He loves to give! God says we are gifted according to the power that works in us – The Holy Spirit. [Ephesians 3:20-21] He tells us that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells withing you. [1 Corinthians 3:16] He is your Helper and Teacher, bearing good fruit, the fruit of The Spirit, the product of His work in you begets love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [John 16:7-8, John 14:26, Galatians 5:22-25]
So, you see, you are not the hero, He is.
And because of that, you do not have to do the back-breaking work to find and keep happiness – The Spirit produces it for you, and it comes abundantly in the form of joy – gladness not found in circumstances.
He has goodness for you, more than you can imagine or even comprehend! Everything is His, created by Him, for His purpose. Seek Him, His purpose, and His will, and you too will have what Paul writes about, contentment in all circumstances, able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
“when you let Him be seen in you, you will be overlooked in the best way” – Lily Kelly
Don’t Worry – You’re Not the Hero of Your Own Story
By Faith Zember