The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
Sitting next to an airplane window generates many thoughts. From such a vantage point, I can’t help but wonder at the science that allows a metal cylinder weighing several tons to somehow stay aloft for a two-hour flight. I wonder, and I simultaneously pray that the science holds up, at least for the duration of my current journey.
There is much about our technologically-advancing world that escapes us. The list of “what we know” seems to be growing faster than any of us can really know it. But there are some ideas that remain true regardless of technologies march forward.
One of those ideas is the truly heroic nature of self-sacrifice. No matter how many new ways we figure out to live life, it seems that there will always be a need for someone to sacrifice so that others can live, or at least live well. There’s no app that can take on life’s greatest challenges and hardships for another. Heroes will be just as necessary in our futuristic utopias as they have always been among the poorest of the poor.
Why? Self-sacrifice will always be the greatest expression of humanity, and the clearest evidence of love.
Such love shapes the commitment that godly men make to their families. They “give themselves up” for the good of their wives and children, believing that whatever sacrifice is required today will open the door to an even greater tomorrow.
By contrast, those who live selfishly seldom achieve enduring greatness. Sure, they may master a few moments and enjoy the accompanying abbreviated fame, but their exploits are short-lived because they are the only ones who speak of them. No beneficiaries of their effort mean no one to sing songs of their victories or learn from their examples.
That’s why we revere military men and women. I see fresh-faced youngsters in the garb of the soldier and find myself thanking them though they’ve likely done little more than survive boot camp at this point. It’s not the level of achievement that brings my instant admiration, but their willing choice of a life where the potential for self-sacrifice could reach maximum proportions that stir my admiration. Police officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel that will run toward crisis while the rest of us flee get that same response from the likes of me.
In my own family, I’m the hero—at least that’s the job description for husband and father. My assignment is to put first the needs of those under my roof regardless of the cost such a priority might require. They don’t live for me, but I live for them and that’s when I’m truly at my best.
Such sacrificial living will never go out of style, even if we someday settle for electronic nurture or parenting by artificial life forms. If that day happens, we’re gonna need a hero to break the grip of those droids and restore us to some old-fashioned sense of family. Until then, you and I need to keep giving our best to the needs of those we are privileged to call our own.