"When people speak of great men, they think of men like Napoleon - men of violence. Rarely do they think of peaceful men, but contrast the reception they will receive when they return home from their battles. Napoleon will arrive in pomp and in power, a man who's achieved the very summit of earthly ambition, and yet his dreams will be haunted by the oppressions of war. William Wilberforce, however, will return to his family and lay his head on his pillow and remember: the slave trade is no more."
That is a quote from the film Amazing Grace (2007). In the film the speech is delivered by Charles Fox MP, though is was, in real life, actually given by Samuel Romilly. The message is the same, though. We watched that film last night, and it really made me think of this Bible verse:
As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. Psalm 16:3
It is so easy to make "heroes" out of people in this world, and too often it is easy to make heroes out of people who don't deserve to be a hero. This verse is always something that I try to keep in mind, though, sadly, I don't always succeed. Wilberforce was an amazing man who did everything for God's glory, and yet more people do know Napoleon. How many other times does that happen, when the wrong man gets remembered. Yet, God gives us a promise in Proverbs that says "The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot."
Carrying this same topic into life, Elizabeth and I are always struggling to make sure that the people we "admire" (I won't say heroes, because I don't really have "heroes" in the sense of the word. We've known too many famous people, and known that they are just that --- people.). We have scrapbooks for autographs (not to mention that we collect autographed books as well) of movie stars, or any other people we feel inclined to have an autograph from. Some people we may like in one show, and others we may like in lots of shows. Then there are some that Elizabeth likes, but I don't (nothing personal), so I just don't have them in my scrapbook. We're always trying to make sure that the people in our scrapbooks are worth having in there.
This week we were really thrilled to receive a personal reply and autographed photos from Ciaran Hinds (he played Capt. Wentworth in the 1995 film of Jane Austen's Persuasion). What was even more thrilling for us was to find out that he's a Christian! Wow. He definitely got a special spot in my scrapbook already!