14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
Role models are getting harder and harder to find.
I work with a youth group, and I spend a lot of time with 12-20 year old girls jumping into young womanhood. My girls are not your typical teens- they are smart, funny, pretty girls, and they talk about all kinds of things that girls should talk about... but very rarely people in the world they can admire. Don't get me wrong- we're your typical youth group, The advertised world, whether music, television, even politics, offers very little for people to look up to.
It's not that many of those out there today don't have good things that make them worth looking at: Take Selena Gomez, for example. She is a young actress and singer whose messages are increasingly bright and perky. She keeps a clean image and a good face. But there's always a but... I mean, come on, she's dating Justin Bieber!
Okay, maybe that's not the tragedy... but Selena Gomez spends little time in the lime light. She's cute, she's funny, she's leading a teenage life free of the Hollywood scene- she's too boring for media.
The people prominent in the news are the ones making a stir and causing trouble, and that's what their known for. Everyone knows Lady Gaga- they know that she is crazy, changing the music scene, and getting people all over to tap their feet. Her song lyrics and music videos inspire controversy and talk, and rumors about her circle constantly. Everyone knows Lady Gaga, and many people think she's a bad influence for young woman. But did you know that this same singer wrote the song "Speechless" for her father, to prompt him to get his health back in check? Did you know that she has cleaned a bad cocaine addiction out of her life because she knew it was ruining her? These things are the toughness that makes up her beautiful side. Consequently, they are the least apparent.
One of my favorite examples of this is P!nk. P!nk is in the news every time she does something horrific. This woman has done a lot of great things with her life, and has a heart for woman who are in trouble or being abused. Recently, she's become a mother. You wouldn't know any of that, though, because the bachlorette candidate is in a lot of pain because of the rouse that is her reality tv show.
Here's a few that I bet never even made your radar. Donald Miller wrote a book called "Through painted Deserts" which chronicles his life after selling everything and taking a road trip across the country to spend life without materialism. His book chronicles the love story of Paul and Danielle as well, who have a strong marriage, even now, ten years later. Jeremy Camp lost his first wife years ago to cancer- rather than going out and giving up, he wrote the song "I still believe", a tribute to keeping faith under personal fire.
And more recently, one of my heros is Tiffany Jantelle, a girl my age whose passion in life was to save animals. She was recently killed while trying to save an injured dog in the road. (Read her story here) Tiffany's death was the result of one person's poor decision to drink and drive- but it is also a testament to the kind of hero she was. She gave her life to save one of God's living creatures, something that she believed was important. Tiffany is the kind of hero I need to believe in- someone who has something they want to stand up for. Someone who risks everything to stand for it. This is a girl that should be commemorated.
Instead, today's CNN top news is about What beauty is and who gets to have it. It's an ironic and sad fact. The system is all messed up.
Every person should have their own heros. But I know that when it comes to my girls, I want them to have the kind of heros that embody the faithful lifestyle they are going to lead.
Of course, for me and my girls, and all the kids in my youth group, and all of the people who share my faith, our role model is our Messiah- the man who came, died, and rose again so that we could live forever. He is the best role model that I could imagine. And I'm finding that those who embody what he taught, like Miller, Camp, and like Tiffany, who understood sacrifice, are the ones that show us how to really live.