I’m real careful about what comes of out of my mouth. After all, I fully endorse Proverbs 18:21, which reads, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I can stop and erupt a praise break right there because not only was the appropriation of this scripture not always paramount to me, but more importantly, I rarely considered its consequences. Thank God for revelation! At any rate, before I praise myself right out of this blog, even though I lead a life reflective of God’s reverence over me, things are not always easy. There, I said it. In fact, things can get down right difficult. Being a wife, mother, daughter, friend, working a job that requires more mental activity than physical, being active in ministry, being physically active, eating right (or at least gluten free so as not to be sick), active in my sorority, writing, dancing and getting a little bit of sleep every now and then in between watching a few of my favorite shows, I have to admit life is GOOD, and tiresome. When things become incredibly busy, and I am longing for my evening turndown before I begin my day, I know that my cape has lost its wind…in fact, I’d rather that it not exist and that I can live an ordinary life like Diana Prince or Peter Parker. Yet, we were not called to lead ordinary lives.
God can’t get the extraordinary out of us through mundane existence. I’m not referring to the number of activities and commitments you find yourself a part of. Anyone can do that. There are enough sports drinks and medications to empower one to race from one life moment to the next minus the reflection of it, obtaining the lesson out of it, or even getting a little burned in the process. During the journey to save the world, or make it a little more tolerable for someone else, we will experience days whereby we want to take our ball and go home. When we feel that way, it is imperative to lean forward and pay close attention. Those moments are lessons unfolding before our very eyes. And the learning is not for the person, place or thing we find ourselves out of sync with, but instead our internal state of affairs. The lessons garnered when we are seemingly at our lowest, are those that will breathe life back into our deflated cape. Lessons of forgiveness, lessons of peace, lessons of perseverance, lessons of healing, lessons of rebirth and lessons of closure emerge when we quit pretending that we don’t stand in need of replenishment.
Under my super hero cape is a person who hopes that her mistakes are not replicated by her children. Under my cape is a person who sometimes feels that her acts of kindness are often taken advantage of. Under my cape is a person who wonders if she will ever emerge from financial bondage garnered through emotional spending. Under my cape is a person who still wonders what it would be like if her father lived beyond her being five years old. Under my cape is a desire to take advantage of every opportunity God grants while trying to minimize being occasionally overwhelmed in the process. Under my cape is a desire to love even when others are oozing hate. Under my cape is a desire to stay when the actions of others, and the wisdom of others is telling me to retreat. Each of the aforementioned are vulnerable elements of me, parts that I am compelled daily to submit to the mercy of God. In my fragmented state I am reminded that I can take hope in Psalm 91:1, where I am affirmed that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Under the cape of the Almighty, I ain’t got to worry about mine. I can cast it upon the one who can always give me flight, even from the lowest valley.
You see we become undone by focusing on the parts of us that we believe require air, thereby we loose sight of the parts of us that more than compensate for our perceived deficiency. For example, under our cape houses compassion for a friend who is having a rough day simply by sneaking away to grab some alone time to strengthen her sprit. Under our cape is encouragement for our children facing insurmountable challenges. Under our cape is wisdom gathered from trials. Under our cape is hope amidst tribulation because we’ve witnessed God perform miracles in contemporary times. Under our cape is healing from adversity, patience from long-suffering and peace from turmoil. In fact, having survived and thrived from these situations, gives our cape the ability to inflate without our assistance.
God desires for us to soar on wings as eagles. He knew that our cape would run out of air. That’s why he giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength (Isaiah 40:29 and 31). Our soaring is simple aerodynamics. Those situations that push us and cause resistance have a lot of drag. Equally important is overcoming gravity, or the weight of those issues which need to be kept at a minimum in order to fight against the tendency to be grounded. Thrust is our ability to move forward, using our muscle so to speak to engage in flight despite our situation. Finally, lift emerges when the air below is pushing up harder than the air above is pushing down. Insert: How much do we seek God above when the issues below are seemingly overwhelming? The difference in pressure allows flight. This is critical as we determine if we are more successful with or without the assistance of God. Planes that fly the distance (and consider us) use more lift than thrust. I suspect God allows our capes to deflate to humble us and to enable us to depend solely upon him.
As children, there was nothing inside of us that made us think we couldn’t fly when we tied a cape, a piece of bedding (sheet or pillowcase) around our neck. Certainly, our issues have changed. Who we will sit by during lunch has manifested in something much more grande. Nevertheless, we have what it takes. It gets scary sometimes, but we’re not alone. As children, we had to run around really fast to make our capes attract air and appear to lift. When we deepen our dependency upon God, we can stand still, see his salvation, and witness our capes inflated, blowing in the wind, without moving a muscle. Sometimes I need to be superhero to you; other times I’m in desperate need of your services. That’s why we each much keep our cape secured at all times. Let us press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). After all, we were not called to lead ordinary lives.