Role Model???

Recently, my life seems to be changing at a rapid rate, and these changes are major ones.  The Lord is adjusting my body, my soul and my spirit, leading me to become someone I never thought I could be.  During my early childhood, I took on the persona of “a child of God” and was completely content.  I was so content, I stunted my growth with Jesus Christ because I wanted to remain an innocent child my entire life.  Unfortunately, like all children, I was also naive and began to seek recognition and wisdom from worldly sources.  I was always looking for role models to emulate and I found several, but they only stayed in my life for a fleeting amount of time and never lived up to my standards.  I finally realized they never would because I was searching for the perfect role model, Jesus Christ.
I have to admit I developed into a Peter Pan, singing “I won’t grow up” and planning to continue the theme throughout my adult life.  I feared growing up and all the responsibilities it would entail, so I did everything in my power to delay the process.  I did put it off for a fairly long time till the Lord intervened and showed me that this was keeping me from a stronger and richer relationship, not only with Him, but with everyone important in my life.  By His grace, I entered a new chapter in this life, and it has turned everything upside down.
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”  Luke 14:26
This is a verse I always struggled with, for how could I “hate” my father and mother?  The truth is that it is possible and can actually result in a more powerful relationship with one’s parents.  I had to put aside “childish things”, which meant I had to release my firm grasp on keeping my parents the same people I knew as a child.  I believed that, like a child, I was unable to truly stand on my own two feet and take care of myself.  Whenever I fell and scraped my knee, I wanted my parents to be right there to make it better.  This attitude does not foster a healthy relationship; I needed to turn to God to “make it better” because He is the only one who can.  When I finally came to this realization, it was as though the huge walls that stood between me and the Lord were shattered.  I was able to place my past completely in the past, and it no longer has power over me.
Accepting and dealing with this new identity still has trials, but there is nothing I cannot overcome in all I encounter because I can find Jesus Christ in this more mature identity, and I have faith that this is intended for my ultimate good.  One great example is a new image of myself as a role model to others.  I have always sought others as role models and never ever wanted to be one myself, mainly because I was so insecure, and did not find any qualities in me that anyone else would admire and strive to imitate.  Nevertheless, in these last few months, the Lord has shown me that these insecurities are in fact worthy of respect from others.  In my job, I have to sit for long periods of time, so I have developed a habit of walking around the building throughout the work day.  I was rather embarrassed about this because I was taking time away from my duties, but then I started noticing my fellow workers walking around the building too.  When I asked them about it, they surprised me by saying they were following MY example!!!  Somehow, this little habit had made a positive impression on others.
I never believed myself to be worthy of role model status, and to be honest, the concept is till slightly terrifying because I can fall into the trap of regarding myself as that small child, naive in dealing with worldly ways.  However, the big difference is that I now have Jesus Christ as my role model, and can encourage others to follow Him through my own behavior.

One thought on “Role Model???

  1. As an avid reader of your column, I would argue that there are many ways you could serve as a role model for others. However, this healthy habit you describe is a case in point that you have been systematically setting aside childish practices in favor of your physical (and spiritual) well-being that your co-workers can admire and can then do likewise! May God continue to bless you in closer, fuller relationships with Him as well as all those around you.


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