All My Heroes are Dead (not quite)

[Here in the next couple of days I will hopefully write a summary of my first semester in seminary, but first I wanted to drop this note.]

I’ve been experiencing something strange in the past month. Historically I’ve fallen into that temptation to try and mimic my heroes. Anyone that knows me well knows this. I always have some new author, preacher, teacher, or friend that I very much enjoy sitting under the influence of. This has in turn influenced so much about me. Too much. I have often daydreamed about speaking like this guy or writing like that guy, comparing my every thought and action to the way they would do things. This happens more than I let on, and it’s something I deal with a lot. The Chandlers, Driscolls, Pipers, Mahaneys, Edwards’, Kellers, Owens’, Calvins, Greenes, Goodletts, DeRocos, Masons, Carlins, Powlisons, and Sinclairs (haha) of the world have had such an impact on me. They have affected the phrases I use (I say “unpack” way too much now because of Chandler), the material I write (Owens/Powlison in the heart, Edwards in the head), the thoughts I muse (Greene and Goodlett get this award), and sometimes even my motions (I caught myself doing a Josh Soto hand move the other day. I call it the “discus throw”).  At times I have to be careful because many people in the circles I run in know of some if not all these people and can (and do) call me out on it when I’m just being a clone. It almost happens unconsciously at this point.

The problem with this is obvious. I’m forced to wonder where my voice is; where my thoughts are; where my style is.  I fear so much that I would just copy someone else.  But something strange (yet wonderful – in a strange way) has been happening. In the past month, it seems like so many of those people (especially those that hold the highest pedestals in my mind) have been slowly but surely, one by one, unidealized for me. Through different books, interviews, messages, and exposures I have found myself thinking Oh, I don’t want his marriage; I don’t want his ministry; I don’t want to have to say all that; I don’t want that burden, so and so forth. Now, when I say “I don’t want” it’s not that what they have is bad or wrong per se; it’s just not my style. I have begun to see that I can’t just place myself into someone else’s narrative. God has a particular calling for me that will look very different from those guys and I should both rest and rejoice in that.

As I’ve become disillusioned to these men to a certain extent, I have found their walls of distinction dissolving in my mind as a synthesis begins to take place. I feel a voice of my own emerging from this. I have more ideas for writing and more motivation to do so. I’m finding my own articulations and approaches to things. I feel like I’m coming into my own and it’s exciting. Exciting enough to post this wholly inconsequential post on the blog just to get it out there. These are wondrous times indeed and I look forward to enjoying them to the full.

Onward, life!

One thought on “All My Heroes are Dead (not quite)

  1. Pingback: Meditations on the Village Church, Matt Chandler, & my Heart « the long way home

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