Thinking about the year ahead… the plans, the dreams, the hopes, the goals, family, friendships and my walk with God I reflected on things that could trip me up or hinder me.
While reflecting on these things I thought about Superman. I am a HUGE superman fan – he is the ultimate superhero – in fact he is the only true super hero!
The words of David Caradine’s character Bill in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill volume 2 came to mind:
“The mythology is not only great, it’s unique…Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne; Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kent’s found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume! That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us.”
Soon I was thinking about Superman’s strengths and powers:
- Superhuman strength, speed & stamina.
- X-Ray Vision
- Telescopic & Microscopic Vision
- Heat Vision
- Super Breath & Freeze Breath
- Photographic memory
Yet in spite of this incredible list of powers he too had areas of vulnerability.
He was particularly vulnerable to the effects of Kryptonite. Kryptonite is the radioactive fragments created by fusion during the explosion that destroyed the planet Krypton.
When Superman is exposed to any amount of kryptonite (within 10 feet or 3 metres) it causes chronic physical pain and the loss of his super powers. He becomes weak and ineffective – unable to achieve the purpose for which he was created.
I realised that in spite of all my talents and gifting – “my powers” as it were – I have weaknesses – areas of vulnerability – “Kryptonite” of my own. Weaknesses which could cause all my plans, dreams, hopes and goals to come to nothing – vulnerabilities or weaknesses that could potentially rob me of my ability to fulfill the purposes of my life.
Scripture’s warning rings loud and is a constant reminder: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5: 8; NIV).
“Be self-controlled and alert!” Superman’s vulnerability is Kryptonite – but what is it for you?
Paul’s challenge in Romans 12:3 is that “by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (NIV).
So as we each begin a new year, may we both now and regularly throughout the coming year, with “sober judgment” and “the measure of faith that God has given each of us”, purpose time to reflect on the following:
1) What is my “Kryptonite”? What are those things that I need to be strongly perceptive to and avoid proximity with that could potentially affect my walk with Christ and render me weak in the battle against the roaring lion looking to devour me?
2) What are my weaknesses? What are my vulnerabilities? What do I struggle with?
3) What habit, leaning, inclination or character flaw has the potential to make me ineffective as a leader?
4) Which strength or strengths of mine are potentially “out of control” and not beneficial to those I interact with?