Of Heroes and Greatness

I have a fatal flaw.

I am led to believe that despite the rather dark moniker of ‘fatal flaw’ that it may actually be a good thing.  I know, I know, how could anything ‘fatal’ be a good thing?  Well, in my understanding of heroic literature there is this concept that every great hero has a fatal flaw, something that will be his undoing or his greatest challenge or weakness.  Think Superman and Kryptonite, or more appropriately, the much celebrated heel of Achilles.  Of course those are both physical manifestations.  Achilles flaw was actually his hubris, Superman’s? I’ll leave that for some of my more graphic literature minded people.    It remains, however, that every great hero has his weakness as sure as every rose has its thorn.  So when I say I have a fatal flaw I am saying that I believe myself to be a great hero.

Heh.  Anybody out there laughing aloud?

My flaw? Well, as a side note I’ll tell you, and it’s not procrastination, that’s a symptom.   My fatal flaw is a strong desire to avoid anything I consider tedious.  It’s like a really specialized brand of sloth, call it circumstantial sloth, or subjective sloth.  Basically if I find it boring i don’t do it, or I put it off.  Then, if it’s important (most things are that need doing), I wait until it comes to a point of crisis before I deal with it and voila, fatality!  Yeah, I know, pretty bad.  I despise myslef for it sometimes, because sometimes it hurts more than just me.  And it certainly has held me back in life because some things can’t be done well at the last minute.  So, somone might say, fix it. *sigh* I have tried.  I have battled, it’s tough for whatever reason.  If I don’t stay constantly vigilant in this area then it happens, I fall back into it, I hate it.  If you really don’t understand something you have a lot of trouble beating, then I submit to you that you may know your flaw also.  Which brings me to the point of this meditation.  Everyone carries a fatal flaw.

Everyone has a weakness that hold them back, as I think through my friends I can recognize our flaws, every one.  That has no real effect on me, people withouth faults are useless because of their absolute obtuseness.  In other words, they must have faults, they just don’t admit them. Useless; at least as friends.  But let me move off in the direction I want to go.  If it’s true that everyone is fatally flawed (what the Bible calls sinners) then, if our observations of heroic literature is true, it stand to reason that everyone has greatness within them; greatness that their flaws are keeping them from apprehending (what the bible calls the curse or the Fall of Man). 

I used to play a role-playing game called In Nomine.  Basically the players took on the roles of Angels and Demons in the war for the souls of man.  The basic premise of the war was that every human has within them a fate and a destiny. The destiny is the possible outcome of the persons life if they make good, unselfish choices, in alignment with the will of Heaven.  The fate of a human is the opposite, their theoretical outcome if they make choices that are evil and selfish, more in alignment with the will of Hell.  the Angels and Demons fought over each persons fate and destiny, it was very cool.  Buried there is a truth of God.

Each of you carries within yourself the seeds of greatness.  Each of you is a hero-in-waiting.  You see if the things I believe about God are true, that He planned and created each of us, that He is good and loving and just, that He sent His Son to redeem us from our selfishness (sin); then it becomes necessarily true that His fingerprints are all over us and that His blood and DNA if you will, flow through our veins.  That means that we are people with great destinies.  Made of stardust, carrying the blood of God in our hearts and souls, we walk through life unaware of the greatness that we carry, the purpose, the destiny.  And as we make small selfish choices it diminishes us as it diminishes HIm.  This is the essence and dark sadness of sin-a life led to please yourself.  We miss so much because we do not pursue the hero in our hearts and minds, and when we do pursue him/her, we pursue incorrectly and with motive foul.

If you are blessed enough to be around children you have already seen this.  Kids carry their great heroic spirit near the skin where it can be seen as they, on many occasions, practice absolute altruism and pretend to stand in the gap against all odds.   Kids know. We’ve forgotten.  If you can accept it, if you can find your way clear to look for the hero inside of you, who knows what you will find, joy? Life? Happiness? Fulfillment of purpose?  Maybe even God Himself.

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2 thoughts on “Of Heroes and Greatness

  1. My hero’s name is Looking Glass. I am a reflection of Jesus as he is seen in the world- the earth-people-relationships-I reflect truth where ever it may be and it is everywhere. I see God’s love and prints all over each and every person I meet and show it back to them. This is who I am when I am true to the super hero locked up inside of this earthly body. I haven’t seen her in a while.

  2. Jason,

    This entry tugged at me the other day, because of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series that’s been making the munchkin rounds at church.

    All the characters have fatal flaws. Hubris, rage – or in the case of the titular character, loyalty to his friends.

    It’s an amazing story, really.

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