“It is imperative on us to get rid of the tyranny of things…. When a man begins to abstain, then first he recognizes the strength of his passion; it may be, when a man has not a thing left, he will begin to know what a necessity he had made of things.”
– George MacDonald
I always thought I would have more muscles. You wouldn’t think that a superhero would have man-handles. But I do. It turns out that super strength doesn’t have anything to do with the size of your muscles. So my arms are the same size they were before I knew I had these abilities. And there isn’t really any way to improve them. I mean, I have super strength. Exactly how am I supposed to exercise? And it turns out superheroes don’t all have washboard stomachs. So my stomach looks about the same as all the other guys my age. Not terrible, but starting to hang over my belt a little. And what am I supposed to do to raise my metabolism? I can speed around the world and not even raise my heartbeat. The elliptical doesn’t exactly go fast enough. It’s just not turning out the way I thought it would.
And why doesn’t anyone warn you about superhero costumes? First of all, glasses… not a disguise. If your mom wears contacts and takes them out before bed, when she puts on her glasses, you still know its your mom. Immediately. No disguise at all. And the costumes? Terrible. The spandex of Adam West and Christopher Reeve is incredibly awkward. And how are you supposed to disguise who you really are? A small mask around your eyes? Doesn’t work. The only way is a full mask, but then you look like an out of shape Mexican wrestler.
And you know what else no one discusses? Finances. You don’t get paid for stopping crimes or saving lives. Unless you join the army or the police force. And it’s really hard to keep another job if you disappear every time you’re needed elsewhere. I mean, think about it. How long would you keep your job if you just disappeared a few times a day? Not long. So, I’ve had to start my own business and be self-employed, but then taxes kill you. The only other option is not to have a secret identity and be a sell-out, supporting products and making money through endorsements. But your spandex outfit over your huge Nike hightops looks a little awkward. There you go to fight crime in your Mt. Dew-mobile.
And the funny thing is I find myself on the computer just like everyone else. I missed a bank robbery because I was in the middle of a World of Warcraft quest. Sometimes I even play Sims. Which means that I’m a real superhero, online pretending to be a normal person. It’s strange that we spend so much time wishing we were someone else. Even Facebook pages are us presenting a certain image to the world. I have a Facebook page for me as a normal person and me as a superhero. One has 10 million friends, and one has 7. Guess which is which.
I guess this just hasn’t turned out like I thought it would. I thought it would finally provide the fulfillment I had been looking for. I thought I would feel needed and wanted. But I still find myself wanting. Being a superhero isn’t quite what I thought it would be.
Thoughts? Interpretations? Wisdom?
When I was growing up, Carman recorded a live album with one of my favorite groups (Commissioned), and the Christ Church Choir. On it was a song called Sunday’s On The Way. In a way only Carman can do, it painted a picture of Easter weekend. It described Calvary as Satan’s plan to kill Jesus, Satan worrying whether or not it had worked, the devil’s rejoicing at their victory, and then Jesus’ triumphant return on Easter. So this Easter got me to thinking…
Did the devil understand the impact of the crucifixion? Was he hoping Jesus was dead and would stay that way? Did he consider it a victory? Or did he know that in that moment he was defeated? Was the resurrection a surprise to him?
Anyway, I know we can’t really know the answers to these questions, but I would love to hear your ideas.
“Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust, not in the living God but in dying men. The unbeliever denies the selfsufficiency of God and usurps attributes that are not his. This dual sin dishonors God and ultimately destroys the soul of man.” – A.W. Tozer
“Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of His majesty. The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,” (Isaiah 2:10-11 ESV).
There is coming a day when the Lord will be properly exalted. He will be lifted high. Every other thing will be humbled. I have always been taught to look forward to this day and I do. I cannot wait for it to be here and now. But as I was looking at this passage this time, I realized how much of our lives will be brought low, humbled, and destroyed on that day. Only the things I have invested in Christ will remain. I could probably say a lot more but I don’t think I need to. I think it would be better for us to take a few moments quietly and examine our lives. Look at how much of your time is invested in things other than God’s glory. How much of your energy is spent on things other than Christ. And how much of you, your thoughts, your work is spent on things bringing Him honor. How might we need to redistribute our effort so that a majority of our work is not humbled on that day?
“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not…. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them. I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish,” (Deuteronomy 8:2, 19).
Do you remember the time…? Yes, it’s a Michael Jackson lyric but it also is from the Bible. And it’s probably more appropriate and powerful there.
Deuteronomy 8 has a beautiful passage where God reminds His people of His faithfulness. He shows them why they can trust, why they can believe, why they can obey. It’s amazing to think how good God has been to us, and it’s very strange to think how quickly we forget. We can be astounded by God’s grace and move on at the next commercial break. God warns us here that if we forget Him, we will perish. For life is found in Him, nowhere else. No matter how much we invest in it. All else will perish.
So today, let’s take time to remember. To remember that He made us – every function we have we owe to Him. To remember He made every good thing we enjoy in life –food, sex, laughter. To remember the cross – the sacrifice He made out of love for us and passion for His glory. To remember the calling – the invitation to partake in His life.