Monday, April 6, 2009

Car Trouble.

My car didn't start this morning. I rely on my car to be in working condition every single day, and today it failed at that task. It let me down, but that's ok because it lead me on an interesting excursion. My wife and I took it into the repair shop where we began discussing Mark Millar's excellent mini-series American Jesus.

My Car, Sleipnir

It was here among the piles of broken machinery and ruined cars that a former shepard of the lord overheard our conversation and told us his tale of woe. It seems this former pastor had taken a cruise and discovered the excitement of gambling, he became addicted and gambled away his house and much of the church's money. A sad but not unfamiliar tale of fallen role models.

In this age of information, it has become much harder to hide our personal lives. Including our failures and dark days. Our sports heroes take illegal drugs, our politicians solicit bribes, our religious leaders commit frightening sins, and courtesy of 24 hour cable news and the blazing speed of the internet, the whole world hears about every detail. Even our comic book idols are no longer one-sided bastions of pure good, but have been given fatal flaws in the name of realism.

But is it so important that our idols remain perfect in our eyes? Like the first time you beat your father in an arm wrestle and realize that he is not superman, there is a brief whisper of disappointment. Then you realize that if your father is actually human, its possible that someday you could be as great as he. If our idols are not perfect human beings, maybe there is a chance that I too can be great someday. This is not to excuse their mistakes, but I think it is best to know that we are ALL truly equal. Everyone is capable of greatness and worthy of forgiveness. I think it is a very good thing when superheroes and outcasts share the same table.

This story ends happily. My car has been repaired and the shepard is recovering from his addiction. While I learned a little something thanks to a broken car and a former pastor.

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