“Coach Meloni is my hero!” Pepe exclaimed. Pepe and some of his school friends were eagerly talking at recess about Mr. Meloni, their basketball coach.
“Yes, thanks to coach Meloni we’ve won two school basketball championships in a row!” Lucy added. “He’s so cool!”
“He’s probably such a sweetheart at home too!” Margarita said, daydreaming about the handsome and accomplished man.
“His tough training yields results. What a brilliant and talented man! He’s my favorite teacher at school!” John proclaimed.
Pepe was so inspired by the conversation about coach Meloni that he decided to stop by his office to see the great man in person and pay his respects before going back to class.
“Ahem, ahem…coach Trevis?” Pepe announced his presence.
“Yes? What do you want?” coach Meloni said brusquely not even looking at who was standing at his office door. Then he answered a phone call on his personal cell phone. “I told you not to called me at work! I don’t have time for you now,” he yelled insolently and hung up.
Forgetting that Pepe was still standing at the door, coach Meloni said out loud, “Ugh, can’t my wife understand that I’m such a busy and important person here?” He was focused on his notes from the last game, “Can’t James loose some weight? He’s like a big and ugly fat cow that can’t move fast! I’ll have to drop him from the team! And Hugo…he laughs like a hyena, not appropriate for one of the members of my victorious team. I’ll have to prohibit him from laughing.”
Pepe couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was in a shock.
“What are you doing there?” coach Meloni finally saw him. “Ha! It looks like you’re going to cry like a girl, boy. Get out of here!” he yelled at Pepe making fun of him, and added, “only magnificent kids stand in front of this magnificent coach!”
Pepe run away from that office as fast as his legs allowed. He stopped at a corner to think over what he just witnessed. Pepe’s hero-world crumbled. He was so disappointed!
“Hey, Pepe…don’t you have to go to class now?” the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart.
The Three Musketeers had shown up.
“I don’t want to see or hear heroes anymore!” Pepe was mad.
“We know,” Jesus was sad. “Upsetting, huh?”
“Pepe,” the Father said, “people who really have my Son in their hearts won’t act like that, and they are true heroes—I call them my saints. You’ll be able to recognize them because their lifestyles reflect Christ’s character: loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Those are the fruits that the Spirit produces in people who are attached to Jesus.”
Pepe was speechless. Too much to think about! He wasn’t sure if he totally understood.
Jesus added, “You can find wonderful examples of lives all around you, even in the most simple, humble, or unexpected places and situations.”
“And, as you’ve noticed, not everyone who accomplishes amazing things is a true hero, Pepe,” the Holy Spirit explained. “Talents won’t have the wonderful impact we meant for them to have if not used with God in your heart.”
“Hold it, you give talents and I could use mine to be a hero?” Pepe was amazed. “How can I stayed attached to Jesus all the time, or be more like Him?” Pepe asked eagerly.
Jesus smiled and said, “Here are some tips for you: read the Bible, pray, listen to the Holy Spirit, share time at school or neighborhood or church with friends who also love me, talk about me, and use your own talents to help others…how about that?”
“That’s a lot to remember!” Pepe whinned.
The bell rang and Pepe realized that he was still in school. While walking to class, the Holy Spirit whispered in his heart, “Remember, Pepe…God will never disappoint you, He’s your true hero, and He’s the only one you should worship.”
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit. … Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me.’” John 15:1-4
“Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you. You can tell what they are by what they do. … A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds.” Matthew 7:15-20
“My name is John, and I am the one who heard and saw these things. Then after I had heard and seen all this, I knelt down and began to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown it to me. But the angel said, ‘Don’t do that! I am a servant, just like you. I am the same as a follower or a prophet or anyone else who obeys what is written in this book. God is the one you should worship.’” Revelation 22:8-9
“God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. …” Galatians 5:22-23
Story inspired by Charles Stanley and Billy Graham.