Walter Payton and the persistence of hero worship

Todd Hertz

Mark Moring
October 20, 2011

Good words, Todd. I wonder if WP's nickname will now change to Semi-Sweetness.

October 20, 2011

For most people, our knowledge of our heroes comes only from our limited contact with them: we "knew" Payton from his fantastic football play and from his post-game interviews. Our favorite celebrities, from the movies; favorite teachers, from the classroom; favorite authors, from their books. The tell-all books and the "Extra!"-style paparazzi programs not only invade the privacy of their subjects, but also invade the privacy of our perception and memories. The lasting image of Walter Payton running toss-sweep right, then cutting-back with broken field running instinct, is how I want to know him.  I think I can assume he like so many others had feet of clay and dirty socks in his locker, but I wasn't a fan of his for any other reason than for his spectacular presence on the gridiron.

October 20, 2011

We can read about heroes, watch their exploits on video, and, perhaps, even in rare circumstances have a chance encounter with them if we happen to be in the right place at the right time. Jesus is the one hero though that anyone can actually meet no matter where they are, get to know and become daily intimate friends with. The impoverished 8 year old in Chicago, the farm worker in Peru, the school teacher in Indiana can all encounter His personality, hear his voice (my sheep hear my voice) and enjoy His presence. He is so gentle and relates to any culture and age level. That is astonishing. We can read about Him in the Bible but actually encounter Him Spirit to spirit. He is the one hero who does not have feet of clay or skeletons in the closet, He is perfect and will never disappoint. I am so pumped about knowing the Lord. Thanks for reminding us Todd.

October 20, 2011

Great article! My own exploration has been about people that only a minority make into heroes - missionaries. One point I would like to see treated: does wanting our Christian worker heroes to be perfect cause us to fail them by not putting into place adequate accountability? After all, to insist on accountability one has to believe that they have a high probability of doing something very wrong. <a href="http://www.foibled.org" rel="nofollow">www.foibled.org</a>

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