The rebel, the “cool guy”, “anti-authority” …. they are the ones that society often admires. Steve McQueen… now there was one cool guy….remember the “Great Escape”? They are the masters of the “sigh”…of the “rolled eyes”… the “snide comment”…. everything comes easy. I saw a list of the top 10 coolest actors from Hollywood; it included Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, James Dean, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen,Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt, and of course Elvis. By the way, my name was not included.
Everyone loves the cool guy until things get desperate, then we want the person who can save us…”cool or not”. Authority is suddenly cool when we find our self in a mess. Real authority has its basis in truth. “Hey, listen up…. we need to do this and we will be okay.”
In Mark’s gospel, the people were astonished with Jesus, for he taught with authority. “What is this? A new teaching with authority… he commands even the unclean spirits and they obey” …… and his fame spread everywhere…..” (Mark 1:21-28) His teaching “ fills us with certainty and dispels all our fears”.
In truth, opinions are “a dime a dozen”. Today there are opinions about everything…. people shout over one another trying to be heard….to get people to listen to the “truth according to Chuck or Bill or whoever .”
There are many important issues today and it’s difficult to find someone speaking with true authority… not just authority that comes from a position, but which is based on the truth, and accepted by others. Elected officials have some authority based on their elected position, but if they don’t speak and act from a basis of truth, then it’s a real problem. Without true authority, chaos makes its entrance.
So, what is the point of all this? Well, we need Godly authority… authority based on the truth, that people recognize and come under. May God raise up godly men and women who will exercise this kind of authority. In the past we’ve seen this is the saints…. we saw it in St. John Paul II. He spoke with authority and the church and the world listened, and was blessed.
So, let’s pray for God to raise up leaders who will exercise true authority based on the truth. May we see it in the Church, in our governments, in our society, and in our families.
P.S. I read that “Actor Steve McQueen, who personified cool during his nearly two decades as a Hollywood superstar, retreated from the glamor and excesses of the movie scene late in his short life and embraced Christianity. When he died at age 50, McQueen was clutching a Bible – one given to him by Billy Graham.” (Charlotte Observer) Wow, that’s pretty cool”.