I just wrote an article for The Badass Forge (excuse the name, wasn't my idea!) about mental toughness and stepping outside your comfort zones.
Yesterday as I was watching Doctor Who with my kids (The Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith... in case you were wondering) a thought formed in my head. The episode was about a regular guy who gets mixed up with the Doctor, ends up being a hero, saving his own son, and truly becoming a "dad."
And it got me thinking about how the Doctor isn't really a hero.
Well, I mean, he is, but in most of the shows, it's the doctor's companions that rise to the occasion. It's just assumed the Doctor is brave and strong and good, even as his character develops and descends into more darkness. He doesn't always save the day, he's just the catalyst.
His companions, however, are transformed from clueless bystanders into true warriors. People of passion, wit, bravery, and fury. By stepping into that little blue box, their lives are transformed into something amazing.
And really, that is what makes the Doctor a hero: he turns other people into heroes. He doesn't force them, he just puts them in situations where their true bravery is allowed to come to the surface. He gives them the option, the opportunity, of doing the right thing.
As I watch my kids grow up around me, I can't help but wonder if I've allowed their true character to shine through. Have I just manipulated them and told them what to do? Or have I put them in situations where their character is tested, and allowed them to rise to the occasion?
In our lives, we need to strive to be like the Doctor. If you want to be a hero, focus on making others around you a hero. By yourself, you can accomplish great things. But if you disciple the ones around you, your legacy can go on indefinitely. Which will have more impact on the world? Unlike the Doctor, we can't live nearly forever.
We need to step back, look at things through God's perspective, and then bring our companions along for the ride. Not because we're good! But because we want to enable people to be better, to rise to their full potential.
And who knows? You might even have a little adventure along the way.