Heroes are men and women who seem to be larger than life, accomplishing greatness and inspiring the same in others.
Heroes emerge from a range of backgrounds. Some break from lives of privilege while others rise from poverty. Heroes raise the bar and forge their own paths.
Nehemiah was a man who felt the call to raise the bar for himself and for his people. Standing in the gap of complacency and discouragement, he forged his own path and in so doing created a new path for his people.
He understood that the hardest step in raising the bar was lifting it out of the mud.
Nehemiah was driven by a desire to restore what was broken. When he received word that the walls of his city were destroyed, and the people were in despair a passion for restoration was birthed in his heart.
As he tells his story, he confesses that the vision he has was not one created after a night of bad pizza. The vision wasn't formed in a focus group. The passion didn't grow because he wanted to make a name for himself. The desire to restore what was broken was planted in his heart by the Lord himself.
Nehemiah's delight in the Lord fostered a relationship where the creator of the universe could easily plant a passion in his heart. Living out a God-given passion isn't a eureka moment stumbled upon one afternoon. Living out a God-given, lifelong passion begins with daily prayer, daily reading the Scripture, daily delighting yourself in the things of God.
Nehemiah's delight fueled his desire. He could not stand by and do nothing while this great tragedy affected so many. The vision for our lives rising out of delight becomes cemented when an issue moves us in our cores.
Our modern day is no stranger to desperation. There are children across the globe living in fear and starving. Women and girls are robbed of their innocence as they are sold into sexual slavery. HIV and AIDS ravage families, leaving in their wake thousands of orphans. You don't have to look far to find an issue to stir your passion.
Heroes never set out to be heroes. Heroes emerge when their passions have been stirred and the vision of raising the bar is firmly planted in their hearts.
Where will the heroes of tomorrow come from?
Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.