For Goodness Sake
|Got in an ample amount of time with my favorite people this summer!|
I had never read much Superman until this last year and a half. I always thought he was okay, but the man from Krypton never had a top spot in my books. On the day of Roland’s third birthday party, which was a wonderfully decorated Flash party, he very enthusiastically declared that his 5th birthday party would be a Superman one (his 4th had already been pre-determined as a Batman party, in case you’re wondering about the timeline there). So with that, he quickly scampered away and reappeared in blue pants, a cape and a Superman shirt that donned the famous “S” shield on it for the rest of his Flash party. So, fast forward a few months of us playing Superman/Lex Luthor (or any villain really) – I had picked up a few more Superman books than I had before and a few things really started to stand out. For all his powers and strength, what makes Superman special isn’t the fact that he’s alien or can lift a meteor without sweating (although it is cool). What makes him special and set apart from everyone else is simply that he’s good for the sake of being good. His motivation is simply to help others with the amazing gifts that he has, because his earth parents taught him it was the right thing to do.
For a character created in the 1940s, that idea is sure counter to our culture today, isn’t it? In so many of the stories we watch or read today, we are constantly bombarded with ‘mysterious’ or ‘dark’ characters pushing the moral grey lines as far as they can go. This idea of moral ambiguity gets constantly reinforced in our lives whether we see it or not. Then, along comes a man in a blue suit (or my 3-foot Roland) waking up every day donning his costume and choosing to help others through actions of love, kindness, compassion, hope, submission, and strength in the face of injustice.
These qualities sound familiar don’t they? Must have been part of the reason I was so drawn in and fascinated – they were reminding me of Jesus. As we start this year, I hope you join me in being inspired by him. One of the most impactful things we can do is to fix our thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) and aspire to be like him. Live out these acts of compassion, love, submission, and kindness – they’re the qualities of a hero that we don’t often jump to first, but like with Superman, they sure do stand the test of time. And if your social media feeds are looking like mine in these days of confusion, find your grounding again and take a look at the book of Luke. You’ll find these qualities there. I’m also finding that the picture being painted of Kingdom there looks very different than what I’m being told from others. It gives us all the opportunity to live out these Kingdom qualities. For myself, with vulnerable teens and my staff; for you in your workplaces and with your family and friends.
So as I leave you today at the start of Fall 2021, be encouraged because there is a lot of good out there. If my observations of youth are any reflection of where we’re going, we’re going to be just fine.
Thanks for journeying with me and enabling me to lead this small team here in Langley as we engage in the lives of vulnerable youth.
- Jon Pue