Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why I Don't Wear Tights

I’ve been thinking about superheroes lately. This Sunday our church is doing a special family service using that theme and it's gotten me thinking: it’d be pretty cool to be a superhero.

When I was a kid I used to imagine being able to fly, or having a special bat-cave for all my space-age electronic crime-fighting stuff. Actually, I probably would have settled for figuring out how to get my mom’s picnic blanket to flutter when I draped it over my shoulders. Superman’s cape always fluttered straight out behind him but even when I ran my fastest mine always seemed to just hang there. I guess I must not have run very fast, at least not while trying to watch my cape over my shoulder at the same time.

While I have very little interest in parading around in tights (no…strike that, pretty much NO interest in that sort of thing) I still probably harbor some latent desires to have superpowers. To be able to zoom overhead when everyone else has to wait in traffic, or to be able to hear or see through walls to know everything that’s going on. To be a super-pastor, or a super-dad, or even a super lawn guy on the weekends. That’d be pretty cool.

But, alas, I’m not. I don’t have any ability that couldn’t also be found in some other guy. Instead of Mr. Incredible I’m probably more like Mr. Forgettable. On a good day I qualify as normal.

I wonder if that’s how Simon Peter looked at himself. A blue-collar Budweiser kind of guy, working The Deadliest Catch with his brother and their buddies. Voted by his classmates Most Likely to Get in a Fight. And yet Jesus picked him out, invited him to sign on for a whole new life. Peter apparently didn’t buy the whole idea at first: “Get away from me—I’m a sinful man.” But eventually Peter began to realize that Jesus’ call was not based on what Peter could do, but on what Jesus could do through Peter.

The result was amazing. In less time than it takes Brett Favre to retire a few times, Peter became a disciple, cast out demons, walked on the waves he used to fish, faced the wrath of the Jewish authorities, sold out his savior to save his neck and then discovered what grace really felt like. On Pentecost morning a stone-sober Peter blazed with such passion they thought he was drunk. At least until 3000 of them came forward for his altar call.

Peter is one of my heroes. I think he’s super, actually.

If that’s what Jesus saw in that fisherman, I wonder what he sees in me?

And what do you think He sees in YOU?

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