I remember when I was small I asked my Grandparents to give me a superpower for Christmas. It’s funny now that something like that would have been asked, but at the time as a child it seemed like a very rational thing to ask for. If I remember correctly I asked for the ability to become invisible. I think I was about to go play hide-and-seek or something. Of course, I was not bestowed with any powers beyond mortal man – thank goodness.
What are the boyhood fantasies of superpowers? Flight, super-strength, invulnerability, mind-power, invisibility would be among the powers chosen. A better question is why. A boy wants to be powerful, to let the world know he is a force to be reckoned with. As men we are given these super-powers. Not the the heroic way though. We can all fly… in a plane. We have super-strength…. compared to children. We all have fantastic mind-powers… if we listen and think. We are also often invisible… or feel that way. These gifts given to adults seem more like curses sometimes, and other times grave responsibilities.
I truly believe that only those who have been gifted truly give. Those who have been recipients of gifts are those who understand what giving is about. Let us take this season and be the “Super-Men” and “Super-Women” and use our powers not just for ourselves.
Just look at what this season is about. Even the main myth that propagates during this month (I won’t acknowledge Christmas until after Thanksgiving… but that’s just me) is of one who has fantastic powers giving to others – Santa Claus. On the other hand the events of what we celebrate at Christmas -the incarnation of the messiah – is a reverse of the super. Here is the God of all creation becoming one of us (see Philippians 2: 6-9). If we look at the life of Christ we do see that He was (and still is) powerful – he speaks with authority. He is invulnerable – as he conquered death itself. The most powerful thing He did was something no superhero could ever do: take the justice of God upon Himself. This “Superman” was not just a hero, but a servant to all.
Perhaps that is the real reason little boys want to be superhero – they have the inkling that the reason they are powerful is to serve.