In service as with many facets of life (Christ-focused and otherwise), there are a million role models to choose from. People you know, people in your family, celebrities?
I used to generally pin the label of 'Role Model' on older people -- women in my church who through years of practice exemplify the characteristics and attitudes that I want, people who have spent their lives traveling the world, people who are exemplary at what they do -- usually, they just had to be older, experienced and wiser people than me.
However (and please, excuse my slow uptake if you already knew this), age has nothing to do with being a role model.
Especially in this past semester, I have been around so many people who I have come to respect, admire and appreciate deeply. And you know what? Not one of them is over 30. I still do count many older people at my church and elsewhere as role models, but I've come to realize that that role model is more than a badge for doing well in your life by the time you are 50. The people that I want to emulate now encompass many of my friends: Elise: who serves constantly, with a schedule I know would knock me off my feet, Adriane: who doesn't gossip and doesn't even scold me when she catches me doing it, Amy: who is so motivated and resourceful but crazy and silly and fun... and really, that's just all I have off the top of my head. I'm friends with people who are wholeheartedly following God, and on top of the encouragement that is to do the same and love and serve the people in my life, mostly, it makes me proud to be friends with them.
Do you have non-traditional role models in your life? Share!