Over the last few years, a TV phenomenon called “Heroes” has captivated a generation. I caught up with it a few days ago when my 15-year-old daughter asked me to watch the first episode of the season one DVD with her and it only took 10 minutes before I was completely captivated. In fact we didn’t switch off the TV for the next 6 episodes [a personal viewing record].

It’s the story of a bunch of misfits from across the world that find they have special powers. As well as others, these include the Japanese kid, always picked last for sports who finds he can bend space and time, the junkie who can see the future and the adopted cheerleader who is indestructible. Yet it’s not that or the special effects that spoke to me and I think, a whole generation. It’s the desperation to find meaning, the desire to make a difference, to find out what there life is for, that drives these young misfits into becoming heroes on a quest to save the world.

You see, this is a generation that longs for heroes, yet only finds celebrities, longs for meaning in a meaningless world, yet only finds emptiness in the latest fashion. A generation that is looking for a purpose, yet only finds the seeming randomness of the universe. “Heroes” has captured that sense of longing and desire to make a difference.

And that is why I believe our task at YFC/Youth unlimited is more urgent than ever.
Any way you look at it, Jesus was the ultimate hero, the Savior who gave it all so that those who came after him might live “lives to the full” [John 10 v 10], positive history making lives that mean something, that make a difference.

As I write these words I am getting ready to leave for a summer camp where I will be speaking to kids for a week about just that. At the same time, we’ll have a big trip taking kids down to work in an orphanage in Mexico, as well as many other camps and day events, all designed to challenge kids about their lives and what they believe. These include a surf trip, a road trip for skateboarders, life skills work with teen moms and another group of kids travelling to a first nation reserve to build a play park. Among them there will be misfits, kids who feel they don’t belong and kids doing drugs. Yet we know every one of them is special and wonderful. Every one of them has the potential to be a hero, to make a difference, whether it’s with the person next door, or whether it’s finding the cure for cancer. If we can point them to Jesus, the ultimate hero, just maybe they can take these moments of heroism and turn them into a world changing life.

By the way, Heroes is now on its 4th season and I have a lot of catching up to do. So if you see me around don’t tell me what happens!!!!

Thanks for being there, both for us and for these heroes.

Posted on July 2, 2009