Fame with virtues, a good life, his; barque of treasure,/sea of knowledge. Conal's offspring, people's counsellor.
- Beccan mac Luigdech, Tiugraind Beccain (Irish, 7th century)
"Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean."
- Luke 5.12, 13
I'm beginning to become aware of some common phrases that, frankly, grate on me seriously. For example, whenever I hear a believer say something like, "That's the DNA of our church," or "That's the way I'm wired," I smile, but inwardly resist the growing tendency to reduce everything about our lives as believers to the terms of materialism.
One of my least favorite phrases is, "Who's your daddy?" Good grief - really? What the question means to elicit is the response, "You are the guy who looks out for me, who has my best interests at heart, and to whom, therefore, I owe my deepest respect."
Nobody ever asks, "Who's your hero?" I take that back; Chuck Colson asked me that question 25 years ago as I interviewed with him for the position I continue to hold to this day. To Chuck you can tell more about a man by the men he looks up to than by the ones he grovels before.
Colum Cille was a true hero of his day, a very Christ-like servant. He was loved for generations, immortalized in the powerful verses of poets like Beccan and Dallan Forgaill. Don't miss what Beccan celebrates in this stanza (one of dozens). Colum was a good man, and he bore treasures of goodness for all who knew him. He was a wellspring of knowledge and instruction, and trained many scholar/missionaries for service to the Lord. Son of a king (Conal) he was nonetheless the servant of the last and the least of Christ's people.
Jesus the all-knowing, all-virtuous King of Glory touched the lowly leper; Colum touched the lost and suffering and brought them into Jesus' embrace.
I make no bones about it: Colum Cille is one of my heroes. Along with Patrick, Columbanus, Brendan, Eadfrith, and many more.
Who are your heroes? To whom do you look to inspire your walk with the Lord, to lift you to great heights of spiritual reality, to move you to endeavors beyond what you ever would have imagined yourself capable of essaying? Who are your heroes?
If you don't have any, then look to Colum Cille and others like him. Let the great saints of the past harbor in the ports of your soul, and see if Jesus doesn't use their example and instruction to draw you closer - with them - to Him.