Thursday, October 29, 2009

A day at the ZOO!!

Jack was not a fan of the sand pit... really not a fan.

Super Powers

Okay, before this goes any further, let me just give you fair warning that this will be a bit of a nerdy post, or thought, or whatever these things are that for some reason you read. I’m just letting you know in case you want to go ahead and stop reading due to the impending and excessive dorkiness, which is on its way…

When I was in the sixth grade, Dad bought me a comic book. I was traveling with his football team to a long distance away game and he wanted to get me something to read. It was a “Wolverine” issue with a thick, card stock cover designed to look like a top-secret CIA manila folder. This top-secret folder had three huge gashes in it, which allowed you to look through to the next page and see the contents of said folder. I didn’t know anything about comics or Wolverine or why there were three gashes in the cover of this book. Neither did Dad. He chose ‘Wolverine’ simply because we are both fans of the University of Michigan Wolverines. I opened the book with care and within a few minutes discovered that this Wolverine guy had six retractable, metal claws that came out of his forearms. Wow. I was instantly hooked.

Within a couple of months, I became an expert not only on Wolverine, but just about every major comic book character I could get my hands on. I read about them, I collected their cards, I discussed their powers and exploits with my dorkiest friends and I even drew them during class. Superheroes became something of an obsession for me. To this day I am still fascinated by the fact that throughout history, human beings have created stories about people living among us who are not normal like us… people who are extra normal, different, more powerful. When I was a kid, I truly longed for that radioactive spider to bite me or for a meteor to land on my bedroom. I wasn’t just into this whole super power thing, I wanted to be super powered! I wanted to throw cars, climb walls and wield a light saber!!

As it turns out, there are folks living among us who are not normal. There are people milling about with powers and abilities that not every one has. Not only that, but I’m one of them! This week I’ve been reading 1 Corinthians and in the beginning of this letter Paul rebukes his audience by saying, “Are you not acting like mere men?” He expects them to be something more than mere men! In the beginning of Chapter 4, he says, “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and those entrusted with the secret things of God.” He goes on to say that, “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.” Folks who know Jesus are the holders of powerful secrets that make us something more than normal! Whoa, this is like real-deal superhero stuff!

The thing is, I can’t fly or dodge bullets. I can’t teleport or swing through the city on my own webs; so what are these secret, extra powers all about? What is it that sets Jesus’ followers apart from mere men? In this same chapter Paul says, “When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.” Our powers are all about love, patience, endurance and self-control. It may not seem as cool as leaping a building in a single bound, but sometimes it’s just as hard to do, and not very many people can do it. God is making us into something new and powerful… something more than what we were.

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