Category Archives: Super

Superman Returns!!!

To be or not to be…that is the question, isn’t it?  This quote goes on to contemplate the nobility of suicide verses the nobility of enduring hardship.  But that is not really what this post is about…not really, but it may tie back in.  Taking destiny in hand can be scary, and many times, can become a burden as we try to carry it alone.  We get excited as we see the outline on the horizon, but are daunted once we have approached it and had a clearer view of what/how big it really is.  We tend to go on and view our life as a dichotomy.  We are human and thus fallible, but we are redeemed and have a purpose to fulfill.  Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I have a hard time reconciling the two. 

Maybe you’ve been there.  Clark Kent sure has (and yes, the Man of Steel is back!  It’s like the return of Superman, only he hasn’t been visiting potential remnants of Krypton, he’s been stuck in my head because of serious writers block).  It seems like your humanity will keep you from your destiny or your destiny will keep you from your humanity.  Take SM for example.  As we briefly discussed before, Clark could go on a date, but as soon as he heard someone was in danger, peace out Lois, insert some lame excuse, good bye human side, hello spandex and heroics.  Or here’s superman, and now he has to choose between someone he loves and the plane full of people plummeting from the sky.  It’s time for personal emotions to be pushed aside for the greater good.  It seems that a great destiny is destined to keep him from being a normal guy.

I’ve felt like this before.  The burden that if I haven’t read 15 chapters in my Bible (at least half has to be in the old testament, just to make sure I’m racking up extra holiness points) and prayed for five hours, I’m not qualified to do what God has called me to do.  Or on the flip side, I feel like being a “leader” or an “influencer” or a “history maker” (insert whatever title works), I can’t go see a movie or hang out with friends or go bowling without passing out some kind of literature being my primary prerogative.  This eventually leads to either legalism or lawlessness.  So, either Clark is around all the time or Kal’El serves his purpose and simply exists. 

So many times, we view our humanity and our supernatural calling as mutually exclusive, expecting all or nothing.  But having a great destiny doesn’t mean you aren’t human.  Take the one guy who probably knows better about destiny that Superman.  Jesus.  Here he is, God incarnate, with the power to raise the dead, heal the sick, walk on water, and heck, even turn water into wine.  Pretty sure he had a few notches up on our Caped Hero.  But he was still human.  Yes, he and his disciples went to a wedding party.  Yes, he cried when he saw his friends mourning.  Yes, he even got in trouble with his parents every now and then.  His brothers argued with him, he was a little sarcastic at times and he even cooked his own meals on occasion.  Being human doesn’t keep you from your destiny.  Many times, it opens doors for it.  Having a great calling doesn’t mean you don’t get to be you.  The secret is not selling out.  One side is going to lead.  Jesus was successful because he did what he saw his father do and was fully committed to his mission.  When push came to shove, his destiny was the compass, not his flesh. 

It’s cool to be you and to enjoy those things that God has given us to enjoy…fellowship, adventure, and good food.  Those things just can’t become the motivating factor.  Temporal human pleasures are not worth the big picture.  So yes, eat, drink (coffee), be merry, but don’t let your flesh become a stumbling block to your spirit.  You have an extraordinary supernatural heritage.  Don’t sell it out for a temporal human experience.  And don’t allow your destiny to make you so spiritually focused that you are no earthly good.

Is there any area that you have tried to use legalism to qualify you? How have you sold your destiny short for momentary gain?  In a fight, who would win-Super Man or Darkwing Duck?

Lyssah

PS-Sorry, the quote didn’t really tie back in…oh well.

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Alien Nation or Alienation? Wielding Relationships Wisely

I’ve got to get away, I’ve got to fly away (yeeeahhh).  What I wouldn’t give sometimes for a Fortress of Solitude.  Good job to SuperDad (Jor’L) for thinking ahead.  What insight, what forethought, what faith!  It can be a lot, caring the weight of something more than every day, so having a place to regroup was just the parting gift Kal’El would appreciate.  Except the Fortress of Solitude, in surprising contrast to its christened title, was often the place Kal’El was pestered the most.  By his departed father.  In theory, a quiet retreat could be just what the Hero ordered, but in amazing foresight, Jor’L prepared a place of training, a place of answers, a place of identification in a world that could not define his son.  Many times, as man or as hero, as destined for greatness individual or as every day pavement walker, we long for an opportunity to pull away from the crowd.   I’m guessing in all his years of Super Service, Superman may have missed the mark a time or two.  Too many altercations at once, choose between the woman you love and this plane full of people.

Destiny can be a heavy load to carry, especially if you miss an opportunity.  Chances are every time Clark was reporting on a robbery or a murder, a missing child or a bomb scare gone awry, guilt would sneak in.  If only I’d been faster, if only I’d been available, if only I had gotten up when I said I was going to to go work out (ouch), if only I had talked to that person when I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit (knife in my heart).  Amazing how easily that transitions.  And in moments when we have come up short of an opportunity or an expectation, it’s only natural to want to pull away. Especially from those who know us, who read us, who see through us.  Even from the one who commissioned us with the Destiny we are now beat down by.

But surprisingly, Jor’L seemed to know that being alone in those times of failure, or withdrawing into himself to discover who we was and what he was meant to do, would not be high in the good things category.  Now, this is not to discount a time of seeking God for one’s self in anyway.  But a Destiny wielded out of our own strength is likely to alienate rather than connect us to anyone, especially God.  The more we try and Rock On from our own store, pulling away from the support and structure that has been provided, the more likely we are to either curl up and fade away or go rouge (Hello Superman with Red Kryptonite).

Just as the loving, if somewhat distant, Alien father prepared a safe place of wisdom and support for his son, so our Father, who is in no
way separated from us, has provided the same.  I’ve been greatly blessed to have the support of wisdom from loving parents, the comradiry of an amazing, anointed brother, the stability and truth of an awesome local body and the joy and adventure of great friends, not to mention the instruction and comfort of the Holy Spirit.  Maybe you don’t have every one of these, but I guarantee God has not left you alone.  It’s one of the oldest tricks the enemy uses, getting us to back down into voluntary sequestration, where we are alone with our arch nemesis, the flesh nature. Relationships can be one of the greatest tools we have.  Even Proverbs talks about the wisdom of traveling together, “if one falls, the other is able to help him up”.  But if we buy into a burden that isn’t even ours to carry and run off into hiding, we’ll never be able to reach our fullest potential.  Can someone say Justice League?  Superman is awesome, but a Super League is able to multiply impact exponentially as opposed to one man on his own.

Every Superhero has allies (Alfred, Aunt May, the X-men practically have a commune going on), and often, those leagues of allies will even span syndication and make for awesome spin-off story lines.  But the strength of allies will only be as great as the vulnerability they share.  Imagine if Clark and Ollie had no idea the other had a bad habit of insuring justice in the wee morning hours.  They would be tripping over each other, and could even potentially wind up facing off as enemies, infringing on each others turf.  Where vulnerability is, competition can’t live.  Why?  Because vulnerability requires trust and trust isn’t out for itself, it’s partnered and connected, come hell or high water.  And don’t get me started on how a power endowed individual trying to go it alone for the sake of “protecting” their loved ones makes absolutely no sense.  (Check out how it should have ended, Spider Man 3).

You aren’t as covert as you think you are and the enemy is not stupid-alienating people and keeping them at arms length is the surest way to make them a target, because YOU AREN’T AROUND!  No wonder MJ leave Peter for someone who will let her in. (Side Bar, if you please: This is not license to go gallivanting around with someone just because they “support” you or love you.  Be Spirit led, and follow the wise guidelines such as equity in yoking, etc.) Which leads me to the final thought for wielding relationships wisely-skip the love triangles, because those are only for ratings, not serious Super heroes.  Relationships are meant to be a source of strength for those involved, not an avenue for contention and unrest.
Drama should never be the adjective that best describes your love life.  Get out of the Creek and leave gossip to girls on the CW.
Trite distractions and passing attractions will not be the foundation for a life that impacts eternity.  Selling out for ratings is an
indicator of your perceived value.  If you have to dumb it down or sex it up to create buy in, it’s probably time to take the concept back to
the drawing board and work on the plot.  After all, plot builds character.

So, let’s take a page out of our Super Studs book and go against “our better judgment” (there is a way that seems right to a man, but the
end is death) and let Destiny unfold in all it’s beautiful potential, lending Glory to an awesome God who created the community your life
was made to impact.

Next time: Being Human and Being Supernatural are not mutually exclusive (ask Jesus), but one side will lead.

Convo Keys: Has there been a time when you have allowed yourself to be alienated?  Why?  Why do we try and carry the heavy burden of destiny
on our own shoulders?  Any other rating boosters that aren’t worth the script there written on?

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How do you Fly in the Gifting and Calling Connected to your Life Surrounded by Every Day Average Joes?

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s Superman!!!!!  Talk about a case of mistaken identity.  A bird, really?  I hope that is a result of fallible human eyes that can’t see this high up.  A plane?  I know I have a steely physique, but I’m more streamlined that a plane…at least a jet.  Superman!  Finally, they get it!!!  Now, I can’t prove that these are the meditative conclusions Mr. Super has when the canonized tagline is uttered, but if I put myself in his shoes…boots, there was a time not too long ago that hearing the citizen’s of my fair city confuse me with a pigeon would have annoyed me to no end.  Here is the greatest superhero the world (or at least the city of Metropolis) will ever know.  In my own experience, growing up, especially as a believer who was just discovering Law 1-God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, my biggest struggle with stepping into the purpose and calling, the destiny that had been mapped from the foundations of the earth, was my pride.  Now, this is probably a good indicator why in my teenage years and my early 20’s, I was not endowed with the amazing ability to fly or read minds or levitate stuff.  Like we discussed in our last Super post, with great power comes great responsibility, and where pride is, responsibility is often overlooked.

Now wait a minute, you might say.  Isn’t this post about discovering how to fly and be a superhero when we are surrounded by Average Joes?  I’m pretty sure that’s what the title says.  Yep, I checked, right there in the slightly larger title type.  Well, as Lucky Bob from Histeria would say “You are correct, sir.”  But putting on a cape and spandex no more makes you a hero than running around with a soap box makes you a minister.  The first part of stepping into destiny is being willing to step away from ordinary things.  Not things like having a job, being in a family or being polite and well mannered; but things like having breakdowns, fleshing out, being self-driven or motivated by self.  Take a second and think about those people you looked up to as a child.  We all had our favorites.  I’ll take a proverbial bullet for the team and confess one of my favorites growing up was Sailor Moon and her compatriots, the Sailor Scouts.  Feel free to get the laughs out now.  Here was this vapid airhead of a teenager who all of a sudden is accosted by a talking cat that tells her she is a Super Hero with awesome powers supplied by the Moon.  She has a purpose-Find the Moon Princess, because evil has invaded the earth and only the Moon Princess can defeat it.  Now, for a 14 year old obsessed with boys, food and everything trendy and easy, this was a bit of a stretch.  And for a time, Serena fought it.  Nothing killed her high from life quicker than that Cat with a British accent showing up and telling her “I know you’re having fun right now, but there are bad vibes over here.  Stop what you are doing and go check it out”.  If I had put a dollar away every time Serena gripped about wanting to be a normal teenager, I could have paid for college.  She constantly had to leave her friends, who were doing normal things, to put her neck out there for someone she didn’t know.  And for a time, she was alone in this.  I think, silly as it is, this is a great picture for what it means to fly high when surrounded by average Joes.  I’m sure there were many times when Clark Kent had his own price to pay to do what needed to be done.  Watching Lois gallivant around and get herself into trouble, but oh no, Lex Luther has unleashed some diabolical plan!  Or how about playing wingman to the Star Reporter, when he was, in reality, the headline maker?  Worse even, Lois being obsessed with Superman and unimpressed with Clark Kent by comparison.  I’d put money on the likelihood of a thought similar to “What’s he got that I don’t? Oh wait, that’s right, nothing, because I am him” flying through Clark’s head as listened to Lois going on and on about Superman.  But it’s the ability to put flesh down and do what needs to be done, even when no one else around you is willing to that will qualify you for your destiny.  Pulling Sailor Moon in one more time, the conclusion of the matter that we were somehow supposed to be shocked by was this: Serena was the Moon Princess <gasp>!  She had been looking for herself the whole time.  But that fact was only revealed after it had cost (temporarily) her true love.  But the willingness to push on, even when she didn’t want to unleashed the potential within.  And it was potential that the world needed.  What would have happened to the world if she had responded with “I don’t care that there is some extremely bad nega-energy coming from the Crystal Tower and there is a good chance that the Negaverse will get all the crystals.  I just want to drink my shake, see a movie and hang out with my friends.”  You can bet it would have cost more than just her.  Same with SM.  What if he decided to forego taking care of Lex to show Lois a good time?

The point is, what sets Superhero’s apart from Average Joes is that they are willing to set comfort and personal agendas aside for the greater good, to do what only they can do, even though no one knows.  That is how you fly.  When self can be put aside and purpose can drive, you will find your destiny is greater than just being a little different or having cool powers.  It’s about stepping into being that divine fingerprint that show’s God Is Here!  And nothing smudges a finger print worse than dragging and fighting the process.

ConvoKey: Is it just me, or is it hard not to want to be seen?  Does anyone else struggle with comparing what you have to do to step into your destiny with what it appears others have to do to accomplish what they seemingly have?

Next Time: Alien Nation or Alienation? Wielding Relationships Wisely.

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Anonymity Allows You to Get it Done: It can be Exhausting being Clark Kent, but Imagine Trying to Grocery Shop as Superman

Revisiting our initial musing, can you imagine being Superman and being stuck at a desk all day.  When I envision Superman, decked out in his blue and red, cape blowing in an otherwise intangible wind, every hair perfectly in place with Lois Lane held delicately in the crook of his arm, Googling some lead on a story…I can’t even picture that.  The reason is simple…that would be stupid.  Why?  Because being a superhero pretty much guarantees the need of an alter ego. No way can you picture Batman comparing ties at Macy’s, getting ready for a big charity event or (for you Marvel fans), Spiderman snapping pictures of the inauguration of the new Mayor.  It’s doesn’t make sense, even in the world of crime fighting special people, and that is saying a lot, considering that suspension of reason is kind of necessary to buy into the world of Super Heroes.  This then raises the question, why deal with the normal life at all?  Why have a job?  Why gallivant around as a wealthy playboy, or getting back to the man of the hour, why report on news that isn’t news compared to the night you had last night?  To answer that, we have to take a look at Origins (haha, another Marvel reference—if you haven’t guessed now, I am a pretty big geek at heart).

Batman, Superman, Spiderman…they didn’t start out as <insert animal/impressive adjective here>man.  No, they started as Everyman.  Clark, Bruce, Peter.  Clark Kent may have been born with the innate ability to be a hero, but if he had known that from the beginning, it would be sad times for Tom Whelling and the cast of Smallville, because there would be no story.  If Bruce Wayne had always had a knack for building cool gadgets that could be stowed in ridiculously small spaces and an affinity for dwelling in his despair and vengeance driven mindset as a child, society would have had him in therapy or juvie quicker than that Bat Signal switch could be flipped….really, those tendency’s in a kid would be considered disturbing (and yet somehow, in an adult, they garner our appreciation and hero worship…huh J).  Let’s not even get started with Peter Parker, poor kid in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong radio active arachnid and Bob’s your uncle, we’ve got a successful franchise that offers hope to average people who believe it will take a miracle for their lives to make a difference or count in the scheme of eternity.  The point is, before the hero was, the man was. Those men had lives already in motion, no mater how every day, alone or mundane they may have been.  In reality, the Destiny they discovered, sought or fell into wasn’t who they were and isn’t who they are.  Once Clark Kent discovered he could start fires with his eyes or blow hurricane force winds, how do you think Mr. and Mrs. Kent would have felt if there little boy just up and disappeared.  Sure, he might have known he was pursuing his destiny, but imagine Martha Kent, putting up signs in stores “Have you seen this boy”?  Or his father, on the phone daily with the police, wondering why they aren’t able to find a normal kid in a town like Smallville?  Even as a young Clark Kent discovered there was more to him, there were still lives connected to his own.  Destiny is not a destroyer, it’s a discoverer.  Looking at it biblically for a moment, even Mary freaked out when Jesus made a detour for bible study at the temple.  His response “Didn’t you know I would be in my Father’s House?”  However, after Mary goes Mama Bear, it says Jesus was obedient and grew in wisdom and stature with God and men.  Even the Son of God did not play the “Hey, I have a destiny I’m trying to step into” card.  If you stepping into your destiny causes you to step over and on everyone around you, chances are you may find yourself in the same boat as Peter Parker using his new found abilities to make some quick cash wrestling…and we know how that turned out (if you don’t, go watch Spider Man).  With great power (destiny) comes great responsibility.

Our destiny will always boil down to one thing…Glorifying God.  And if God doesn’t step all over people, play the “God” card so people get out of his way or compromise who he is to make your part in glorifying him happen, chances are, you aren’t supposed to either. Just like Clark Kent had a season of self discovery and decision, our destiny doesn’t follow destruction, it follows the construction of character and the revelation of God.

Some things can only be accomplished as the man, not the hero.  God didn’t come with fire and brimstone to activate the plan of redemption.  There is order in the universe that we cannot hope to understand in the natural, but you can’t have Extraordinary without the Ordinary, and cliché as it is, you can’t have Supernatural without Natural.  A new picture, Superman at Albertsons, Winco or Kroger, his cape being wheeled over by some grandma on the ride-a-cart (probably the same one he helped cross the street).  Half the people in the store steer clear, intimidated that the Man of Steal is comparing values by ounce while the other half mob him for his autograph.  And we get stressed making our way through a crowd nameless and faceless.  Or imagine trying to take Lois out for a nice dinner, talk about Paparazzi!  Destiny and purpose are not lost because we are ordinary people.  Anonymity allows us the opportunity to serve without drama getting in the way.  Destiny is never about making a name for ourselves, but about making God’s name great, to the point that ours is forgotten.

So, back to the alter ego…and we’ll let this serve as a segue into the next installation, just like there are some things you can only do as a man/woman (grocery shopping, work, wooing (hint: never try and woo by “name dropping” your destiny/calling/gifting…too much time spent tooting your own horn will just be white noise)etc.), some things can only be done as the Caped Crusader (sorry to mix my heros/titles).  Next Time: How do you Fly in the Gifting and Calling Connected to your Life Surrounded by Every Day Average Joes?  Same Bat Time….you get the picture.

ConvoKey: Are there any times you have asserted calling before God’s Glory?  Or been content to be Clark Kent when someone was screaming for Superman?  I have…let’s discuss.

 

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Mild Mannered or Well Mannered? Clark Kent: Wielding Destiny with Decorum One Day at a Time (Series)

Can you imagine being Superman and having to work a desk job every day?  I mean really, Man of Steel, faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and with the evolution of the comic, able to fly around the world at a speed that effects time; and you are stuck. 

All day, stuck staring at an HP (maybe a Mac, if you’re lucky), just looking for opportunities to sneak off and save a baby in a burning building, a window washer hanging from his scaffolding or an old lady crossing the street.

Here you are, with all of this raw power, all of these special talents/gifts that no one else has, the destiny to fulfill, the strength, the stamina and the rare ability to wear spandex and not look like a dweeb; and you’re stuck.

That would be the epitome of Stink. 

 At least I think so.  All too often, those who have destiny swirling on the inside, those who are “gifted” to achieve greatness, are tethered to an office or cemented into desk seats as they run reports, answer phones, or even at the earliest phase of life, learn facts they will “never use”…(Side note: don’t assume you won’t use it, knowing the periodic table was imperative knowledge on this week’s episode of the Amazing Race-you never really know what you’ll use until you need to use it). 

If it is frustrating for humans with a calling or gifting, just imagine how it must be for Clark Kent.  You know you’re called to bring the Gospel to the Nations or to lead worship and usher thousands into the presence of God or to be a mom and lovingly raise the leader of the next Great Awakening.  Those things are all well and good, but come on, this is Superman we are talking about here. 

Well, not really.  I’ll be upfront from the get go, this is a metaphor so to speak, an opportunity to look at a situation from which we are directly removed, and yet still able to draw surprising parallels in our own life.  So, when I am in fact talking about CK or SM, it’s really about you and me, ok?  Good.

I have had this word picture mulling around on the inside of me for some time now.  At first, I anticipated it being a one post wonder, crafting an extremely well written, or at least a mediocre piece in which examination of the Man of Steal might serve as a means of encouragement to potential, the gifting and the callings on each and every individual who by some random click of the mouse found themselves with this humble blog before their eyes.  But for once in my life, I actually began to storyboard/brainstorm the flow of said post, only to realize that this was not something that could be easily contained in single installment.  So, drum roll please………….I will be undertaking a series, so to speak.  Let’s look at it as cutting up the topic into nice bite size, manageable pieces, so no one loses interest (me included…I know, that’s just sad), and so the message of mediocre is adequately vanquished with as little civilian causalities as possible.

So, whether you are in the Smallville stage, just starting in life, unable to be recognized for who you are because of trademark issues or you are on the verge of shutting yourself off emotionally to the world around you because caring or having passion have only gotten in the way, this blog is for you.  Or maybe you’re like me, feeling like the upstart reporter who is constantly biting off more than she can chew, forever on the outskirts while still finding yourself in the middle of the chaos surrounding a hero in the making; this is still for you.  Maybe we didn’t arrive on the scene of our existence via a meteor crash as we escaped the destruction of our kindred, but there is still a vital part to be played and it can only be played by you.

Now that you’ve got the game plan, grab your spandex and cape (or skinny jeans and bath towel for those less advanced superheroes) and Super Suite Up. I know anyone who has followed this geeky discourse loves teasers, so here you go-Next Time: Anonymity Allows You to Get it Done: It Can Be Exhausting Being Clark Kent, but Imagine Trying to Grocery Shop as Superman.

ConvoKey: Have you ever felt there was something more to you?  What burns on the inside of you?  What stage of your journey to “herohood” are you at?  Do you ever feel chained to the desk?  How do you deal?

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