Richard Donner’s Superman is a wonderful part of my childhood. It came out well before I was born, but I remember watching it regularly when it was on TV. There were some slow parts and I hated the scene when Superman takes Lois Lane flying. In spite of those moments, though, I loved seeing Krytpon’s last son in all his patriotic and un-ironic glory.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was seeing Christopher Reeve enter the phone booth as Clark Kent and emerge as Superman. That quick transformation didn’t take place in Man of Steel, probably because there aren’t any phone booths anymore.
Jon Acuff used the image of Superman changing in a phone booth to great effect. Clark Kent enters the phone booth a normal man, but exits it as the world’s most powerful super hero. Instead of entering a normal man and emerging a hero, Acuff wrote that he felt like he was doing the reverse Superman.
Before Acuff quit his day job to become a full-time speaker and writer, he would often come home from weekends speaking at events just to go back to his day job. He wrote that as he changed into his work clothes in the airport bathroom on a Monday morning, that he felt like he was doing the reverse Superman. Instead of going from something normal to something extraordinary, he was going from something extraordinary back to his normal, pedestrian life.
I pulled a reverse Superman yesterday.
After spending a week in Illinois speaking at a summer camp, Monday morning rolled around and I once again had to don my Fisher Computer Consulting polo. The week before I had been hanging out with students, telling them about Jesus and pretty much doing what I was created to do. But on Monday morning I entered the phone booth as a speaker and emerged again as a computer consultant. I had been doing something extraordinary, but then it was back to my normal, pedestrian life.
That’s one of the biggest challenges in this journey I’ve been on: not seeing my everyday life as boring and pedestrian. When I left my job as a youth pastor I knew that I was giving up a lot. One of the biggest sacrifices was giving up influence. As a youth pastor I had influence over students and leaders; I felt like my life had significance. By leaving my job, I knew that I’d be giving up some of that influence and significance, but hopefully to gain it back later.
Last week I caught a glimpse of what that influence could look like. I had the opportunity to speak to 130 campers and counselors. God gave me the opportunity to share the gospel with people I’d never met before and it was amazing. I felt alive; I felt like I was doing what I was created to do. But then Monday morning dawned and it’s like I woke up from a dream. The dream was over and I had to come back to the real world.
But I need to remind myself that the real world isn’t that bad. While it’s true I gave up some influence and significance at church, I still have the opportunity to have influence with my friends and be significant in my family. I know that’s God’s calling on my life during this season, but it was inspiring to see what the next season could look like. Hopefully there won’t be as many Monday mornings in the future and I’ll get to keep my cape on more often than not.