It always strikes me as interesting whenever I watch an interview with someone that is hailed a hero after a particularly courageous or quick-thinking act that saves another from tragedy. As if they've been coached by the gods of humility themselves, they all say the same thing "Oh, I'm not a hero, anyone would've one what I did." I think most of the time they're right. I think the human race in general is one of compassion. Maybe not the most common belief about people, but I do believe that.
While I believe that those people are indeed heroes, I don't think they're the only kind of heroes. I'm not trying to lessen the greatness of a good deed done in the face of crisis. That is a truly admirable thing that should be appreciated and recognized. Especially when one risks his life for another, or in some cases gives his life for another. It's the ultimate sacrifice.
I was recently at a staff meeting for a non-profit Matt and I volunteer with. We were talking about how to really reach the kids we work with, and my friend, Robert, talked about laying his life down for them. It not like this was a new concept. How many times have I been in church and heard the pastor preach about John 15:13, about "greater love"? For some reason on that night it truly hit me. I need to lay down my life.
I started thinking about how to lay my life down for the people around me. I stopped thinking about big things and started thinking about being in the trenches with people. Laying down my life when it's hard. Laying my life down by being a good friend. Laying my life down when things are mundane. Laying my life down by filling practical needs for people. Laying my life down without recognition. Laying my life down by being a good listener. Laying my life down when it's inconvenient and taxing.
Laying down your life is not putting people and their needs on a shelf. It's not being ridged and rehearsed. It's not just swooping down to save the day when it's convenient. It's not to gain attention, or position. It's not in inauthentic humility. It's not only in the big things, but in the day to day.
Laying down your life, is just that-- Laying down anything you can receive in sacrifice and devotion to another.