This past Tuesday it was time for me to get my annual flu shot. I absolutely abhor needles of any kind, but I walked out of the medical clinic with a smile on my face. Why? Because even though someone had just plunged a half-inch of steel into my throbbing arm, I ended up walking away with a Dum-Dum and an awesome Spiderman Band-Aid.
All in all, not a bad deal!
As I walked back to my office, I laughed at myself. When the nurse gave me a choice of Band-Aids, there really had only been one option. Why is it that grown men and women get just as excited about super heroes (if not more) than their kids do?
Yes, I’m a grown-up. I also happen to be a lifelong fan of super heroes. Here are just a handful of my confessions:
1.) When my wife goes to give my daughter a bath and leaves me alone with Little Man, I leap for the remote so I can quickly switch the television from Bob the Builder to Spiderman.
2.) When my two-year-old son got a Spiderman mask in his McDonald’s Happy Meal and didn’t play with it, I put the thing on myself. What can I say? It was too cool to pass up, and somebody had to play with it!
3.) As the Fall Festival at church approaches, I actually spent a good while trying to convince my seven-year-old daughter that our family should dress up as super heroes instead of characters from Scooby Doo. (It didn’t work, by the way… her vote is still for Scooby!)
Laugh all you want, but I’ve seen plenty of grown men get excited about the super heroes they remember from their childhood. Is it because it takes us back to those carefree days of the past? Of course! But I think it’s more than that.
Coming to Grips with Weakness
The older we get, the more we come to terms with our own frailty. When we’re young we all dream of growing up to be “super strong” men who are able to handle anything. Then life smacks us in the face, and we begin to realize that we can’t handle things as well as we’d hoped.
Instead of the Superman we wanted to be, we feel more like Peter Parker – the scrawny teen who has no idea how to handle his high school bully, his budding relationship with the beautiful Mary Jane, or the grief he feels after losing his Uncle Ben. Instead of a super soldier, we feel more like Steve Rogers in his pre-Captain America days, when he was rejected from the U.S. military for being such a lightweight.
And the idea of a radioactive spider bite or super serum which could instantly transform us into supermen is infinitely attractive to us. We all walk out of the theater thinking, “I need my own radioactive spider… wonder where I could get one?”
The “Super Promise” for Every Christian
Don’t hold your breath for that super serum, but take heart! While radioactive spiders are mere fiction, as believers we do have something to hold onto. Look at what 2 Peter 1:2-3 has to say:
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.”
Did you catch that? According to His divine power, Christ has given us everything we need that pertains to life and growing in godliness. If we really believe that, then this is something we can really hold onto! We can face all of life’s circumstances with complete confidence, trusting that when our own strength and knowledge fail us, the perfect might and wisdom of God will be there to help us through. Now that’s what I’d call that a super promise!
Oh, and just in case you were wondering… yes, it has been two days since that awful flu shot. And no, I haven’t taken the Spiderman Band-Aid off yet.
Here I am, trying out my son’s Spiderman mask. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it!
Main Photo Credit: Home Aranya by Slastic – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.