I revealed the fact that I was in fact a super-hero nerd in this post, this is a trait I got from my dad.  When I was little I was allowed to read the comic books that he bought when he was a kid, most of which were The Flash

and The Green Lantern.

We also spent many an afternoon watching the  animated X-Men series, and also Spiderman the animated series, (which was legitimately comparable to the comic book because it was also done by Stan Lee), and  I remember watching “Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman” when I was a mere five years old.  So, I opted to take my dad to see the new Green Lantern movie for father’s day.  The day set aside to celebrate dad, and the movie got me thinking about the lessons that my dad taught me, with the help of the superheroes I grew up with.

Everyone’s looking for a hero (or as dad would call it a Christ Figure).  Everybody needs someone to look up to, someone bigger than them and larger than life.  People want someone who is in control when they are not and can take care of them.  Even the seemingly fearless Lois Lane was only willing to fall into and out of and off of things because she knew that there was going to be someone there to catch her.
The other half of this lesson though, is that just because people need a hero doesn’t mean they always recognize this need, and their priorities become skewed.  So, when Spiderman saves 200 lives, but destroys an incredibly expensive building, suddenly all of New York is furious with him.  Everyone believes they would have been better off without their “hero”, and could’ve done it  on their own.  This lesson is twofold: 1. Sometimes the right choice isn’t the popular one, and 2. It’s always easy to decide that you could’ve done it all and done it better when you didn’t have to try.

Feeding your fear never makes the situation any better.  Often a superhero’s greatest moment of weakness is when he lets the enemy play on his fears: fear of failure, or death, or the dark.  Whatever it is, when the focus changes from what really matters to anxiety, nothing good happens.  In many ways my dad taught me this lesson by teaching me this:  Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Good wins in the end. When all hope is lost, a new corner is turned and it’s suddenly found again.  Just when the meteor is crashing towards the earth and Superman is being dragged along with it he suddenly gets one more burst of strength and pushes it hurtling back into space.  Just as Hal Jordan is about to be wiped off the face of the universe by some galactic enemy all the other Lanterns show up and the bad guy is defeated.  And three days after a rather ragtag group of individuals watched as the person they believed in was killed,  He came back to life (and that one actually happened).

Even the most heroic among us have their moments of conflict and doubt.  Just because they’re bold enough to wear spandex doesn’t mean they don’t have their moments of indecision.  Batman would be holding a bad guy over the side of a building and even though he knows he should take him in and turn him over to the police, he really wants to drop this hardened criminal over the side, but Bruce Wayne doesn’t let impulse or conflict win out.  In the end the right choice is made, despite the inner turmoil of the hero.  The doubts are not the problem, so much as what is done with them.

Finally…

Long winded monologues always end in disaster.  A bad guy’s downfall often comes when he stops his evil to tell the captured hero all about it, in excruciating detail.  So, in order to avoid this pitfall of super-villainy I’ll wrap this post up before it gets any longer.

Happy father’s day to one of my heroes!

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