Sunday, October 16, 2011


I have been thinking about heroes alot this week. Naturally so since the country is gearing up for another National Heroes' Day tomorrow. It is always celebrated on the third Monday of October. Heritage concerts and programs, parades and award ceremonies. It is a pretty special day here in Jamaica. Renee and Denny get a holiday from school and that is something to look forward to!

National Heroes' Day began in 1971 and it took the place of Queen Elizabeth's birthday, I wonder what she thought about that! Jamaica has named 7 National Heroes. They are Marcus Garvey, Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Norman Manley, William Bustamante, Nanny of the Maroons, and Samuel Sharpe. Each has an incredible story and it has been really fun learning about each one with Renee in the Jamaican school system. She knows American History and now Jamaican History.

This week in Renee's school there will be a Heritage program. Here is a photo of the national costume which is so beautiful.

As I think about the heroes significant contribution to Jamaica's society I ponder the contributions of heroes I have read about. Funny thing, heroes don't set out to be heroes. If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, they respond, fireman, nurse, doctor, lawyer, truck driver and such. I have never heard a child say, I want to be a heroe. They may say I want to be like Michael Jordan because Michael is my heroe.

Heroes aren't born with a heroe gift. Heroes respond at the moment, right on time, in a crisis situation. The heroes of 9/11 didn't plan on being heroes that fateful day. Captain Sully didn't start those jet engines preparing how to save people's lives that cold day in NYC.

Christa McAuliffe didn't plan on being a heroe. She was a teacher/astronaut. If she knew ahead of time that the Challenger was going to explode, she would have chosen to stay with her husband and beautiful children on planet earth. Heroes are made in the moment, not born.

I love this particular holiday. It makes me ponder and meditate. It is not a meaningless holiday like some. I have some heroes. They haven't saved my life from drowning or rescued me from a fire, they have inspired me to be tough when it counts. They have pushed me to holiness and right living. They speak into my life when I see what they are enduring in their own personal lives. Heroes are worth looking up to. Funny though, real heroes don't want the credit, they just do what is right in that moment. Remarkable.

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