Even Superman Had to Learn to Fly

As I think through some of the more memorable moments in super-hero comic history (yes, I am one of those special super-hero nerds), I find myself drawn to one of the greatest. It was early in the Superman comics when, Jonathan and Martha Kent, were teaching him to use powers. He was learning to fly, but he resembled more a bird leaving the nest for the first time. He was not a plane streaking through the sky, he was an awkward jumper. Soon the jump became a leap, and finally…he soared.

This scene from the comic and the original movie are stuck in my head lately. I think it is because I have recently talked with several people who have become frustrated with their personal life or discouraged with church life. They feel this way for different reasons: personal moral failure, church politics, etc., all of which are valid reasons to be discouraged. They see a cycle in their own lives and in the lives of the church that seemingly can’t be broken. I understand this feeling. I have felt it before myself. It’s debilitating.

It’s also counter-productive to our mission of trusting the living God. Frustration gives birth to doubt, and doubt breeds distrust. We can’t let that happen! We must trust in who God created us to be. We must believe that God put his image inside of us, and that the Holy Spirit is uncovering that image one painful layer at a time so that the world can see more and more of that image daily. We have to trust that and feel confident and joyful because of it! Where would Spiderman be if he hadn’t begun to trust his Spider-sense? How many people would the Joker have hurt if Batman hadn’t put full trust in his utility belt? How many of Lex Luther’s plans would have come to fruition if Clark Kent hadn’t begun to trust his powers? Trust is that important.

It’s about learning to trust, and learning to grow spiritually. If you don’t soar through the air the first time out, you are not alone. None of us do. We jump, we trip, we fumble, and sometimes we do nothing at all. God lets us learn the lessons. Sometimes those lessons are hard learned. They come with bumps and bruises. They come with broken hearts. But if we are OK with learning, the lessons will come. The growth will come. We must trust, truly trust, that the heart will heal and trust in the growth process God is taking us through. Where would Superman be if he hadn’t learned…yes learned…to fly? My guess is he would be just another kid jumping and falling in a corn field. But honestly, wouldn’t you prefer to fall a few times if it means you eventually get to soar?

Other Posts You Might Like:

The Answer Is Yes - Ross Thomson

Open Letter to the Church - Kim Cook

It Really is a Matter of Life and Death - Casey McCollum

A New Word for the New Year - Casey McCollum

A Day To Celebrate - Andres Badillo



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