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Christianity >> who is your hero?

Modern socient has the wrong concept of hero stuff. We continue to churn out flicks like Superman and X-Men to demonstrate heroes, yet, on a day-by-day walk, we fail in our individual chocies.

Modern socient has the wrong concept of hero stuff. We continue to churn out flicks like Superman and X-Men to demonstrate heroes, yet, on a day-by-day walk, we fail in our individual chocies.

When I was growing up, the heroes were corny cowboys like Roy Rodgers and Gene Autrey. Our sports heroes appeared to be clean cut and did not show up in the headlines using performance enhancers or taking out the other side with a baseball bat -- or a head-butt.

For those who missed it, the World Cup Soccer tournament has been playing out over the past month. This past Sunday, Italy beat France in the finals. From many perspectives, the finals were great -- typical high class soccer, with the required two over time periods and Italy winning on penalty kicks.

On the other hand, France's hero, Zinedine Zidane, was missing at the end. He received a red card, the highest peanlty level in soccer. This penalty means a players immediate departure from the game. In American terms, the player was ejected from the game.

Zidane, in the heat of battle, and also, probably, at the height of fatigue, gave into anger and frustration, head-butting an Italian defender in the chest. The officials immediately issued the red card and the career of Zidane was over.

Zidane, as I understand it, has been a long time performer for France and in the sports world is one of those national heroes. He was esssentially the outstanding, best player of this year's World Cup. Also, as I understand it, he generally fit the heroes mold well. That is, until last Sunday.

After three days of silence, Zidane apologized. Appaently the defender had been harassing Zidane, as would be expected under those circumstances. A lot of trash talk was involved, including, according to Zidane, comments about his mother and sister. The Italian defender is quoted as saying he never said anything about the heroes mother.

In any event, the third or fourth time it happened, Zidane snapped. The rest is recorded on television tape for all to see.

What bothers me is the implications of our hero's apology. Based upon an article in today's Washington Post (July 13, 2006, Sports, E-1), Zidane apologized to all of the French children.  "Because I have kids and Iknow what it is. I'll always tell them not to let people step on their toes, but also to avoid this king of thing."

Later on Zidane is quoted as sayhing as a man he would rather be punched in the face than to hear insults.  Sticks and stones . . . ? Trash talk is part of any modern sport. It comes with the territory, and, as I see the world, is even encouraged via commercials and other representations of the sports, such as movies. If a star cannot keep his cool over a few words, he must have a very low tolerance level, especially since it is the World Championship of the only truly international sport.

Unfortunately, Zidane also says that "I cannot say I regret my act because that would mean [the Italian] was right to say all that. . . . I know that my act is unforgivable." This is the key to understanding.

The paper quotes a sports psychologist as saying "The problem is that he says he doesn't regret it, which means that anyone can make their own justice on the field."  -- or else where?

This is a perfect picture of a post-modern defense. I can't regret my act because that means the other guy is right. Well, no, it simply means I am wrong. Why can I not say I am wrong? This does nothing to justify anything the other guy has done.

Second, the psychologist is correct. There is no justice on the field, only vengence. I decide what is right for me, you decide what is right for you. What is this hero teaching our kids?

There can be forgiveness.  In fact, even in the secular world, that is the entire point of the apology. I am sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me.  No implication that your were right, just a statement that I was wrong. Why worry about the other implication, especially since we have a statement from the defender saying he was trash talking?

God will forgive. Better yet, God forgets. He does not care if we are right or wrong. He knows our sinss and our wrong doings. He forgives us anyway. He wants us in His family. He understands that words hurt deeply. He comes to us with open arms asking us to seek Him and to allow Him to be our friend.

Not only that, but He is always there. He is never changing. He is not the hero only when winning. He is not the hero only when refreshed. He is unchanging. He is always the hero.

So, who is your hero? How do you choose him? Is he someone who can perform well 99% of the time, but has a mood once in awhile and falls into anger, or steroids, or alcohol? Is his character consistent across the board? Would you really want to be like your hero?

The only one I know who is the perfect model of a hero is Jesus Christ. What a wonderful fact.

Jim A.


Posted On: 2006-07-13 11:02:19 || Comments (0 ) || Add a Comment
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