On Heroism

I sank onto the concrete steps. Afternoon sunlight flickered through the trees. Curling my hands around my cup of tea, I closed my eyes and breathed. The September air was just starting to flirt with fall. From my perch in front of the religion building, I watched a few stray students make their way through the center of campus. I’d just gotten out of a test, and I was exhausted. All I could think about was the reading I should be doing before my next class. The wind rustling through the trees, though, whispered an invitation to stop. So I did.

Moments of rest have been few and far between lately. Conferences, trips, classes, writing, and other responsibilities have nearly worn me ragged. I’ve had to work hard to push back against the pressure to do everything. Some days, not everything is important.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my chronic health issues, it’s that I don’t have the capacity to be a hero. I physically can’t do it. In so many ways, I’m grateful for this lesson. I’m not supposed to be the hero.

These days, I’m trying to learn the rhythms of a faithful life. So I’m settling down with more cups of tea. I’m lingering in the kitchen when I cook. I’m reading the books assigned to me for this season. I’m writing the words I’ve been given. I’m taking what’s been put in front of me and doing my best to walk with it well.

I can’t do everything. Neither can you. But it’s okay. We don’t have to be the heroes.