The Superman Effect

I got sucked into watching ‘Smallville‘ tonight.

For those of you who don’t know, Smallville is a show chronicling the life of Clark Kent before he fully discovered who he was and became superman.

Why did I get sucked in? Simple – the idea is so alluring.

A man who is faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than all of the worlds strongest men put together, can fly, is totally bullet proof and has laser beams that come out of his eyes. He can see through almost anything, hear better than any animal and is good looking to boot.

He is the ‘ultimate’ man. He is everything that modern society says a man should be and much much more. You don’t get any more manly than Superman, the ultimate superhero.

To see him learn about his ‘powers’, to be a little vulnerable while still ‘super’ is so intriguing and exciting.

It’s the ultimate fantasy. I don’t know many men who wouldn’t LOVE to be Superman. My two year old son thinks he already is!

As I came away from it though, I realized the big problem with Superman:

He is the total antithesis of the greatest man to ever live. He is opposite in almost every way – and he draws our hearts away from yearning to be like the One we should be following.

I want to be strong. Jesus wants me to be gentle.

I want to be famous and adored. Jesus wants me to be humble.

I want to be able to fly. Jesus wants me to wash feet.

I want to be good looking. Jesus wants me just the way I am.

I want to see through walls and hear conversations a mile away. Jesus wants me to just listen to Him and follow His leading.

I want to be bullet proof. Jesus may ask me to lay down my life.

We are excellent at creating fantasies but not so good at facing reality.

The reality is that life is hard, we have to humbly serve and resist the temptation to do ‘great’ things for human recognition.

Maybe watching programs like Smallville is harmless….. but then maybe it would be better for me to spend that time working on being the man God wants me to be rather than fantasizing about being the man that my humanness adores.