So, I'm totally addicted to Smallville. I know, I know. I'm female. And I NEVER read comic books. And, while Tom Welling is a cutie, he looks just like my brother with black hair, so I'm not watching it for the lust factor. And I'm not even that huge of a Superman fan. Don't get me wrong. I have 3 little boys. Super heroes are our life! And Superman is definitely one I feel safe with (haha). But he always seemed too goody-two-shoes in the movies growing up. I liked Christopher Reeves, but for the Man of Steel, he sure let Lois push him around a lot. Drove me crazy!
No, it's not nostalgia or my cougar side (which I evidently don't have because I was never Team Jacob) or hero worship that keeps me coming back and staying up too late watching Smallville. I just love the story! I love the character development, the depth of struggles they have, the richness of their relationships, the fact that they aren't perfect. Clark gets way too Wimpy Kiddie Baby Whiner (name that reference) for me sometimes. Lois is still pushy. Chloe is too sneaky. And why are they still chumming with Tess? At least Lana's gone! And now I sound like my grandmother talking about her soap operas. These people seem real to me, and I think that's the appeal.
But I also think the writers attempt to make statements about human struggles with their super hero struggles. And I'm going to quote Green Arrow from the episode we watched last night:
"We have a bunch of arm-chair bloggers that have created a generation of critics instead of leaders!" Wow! That one really hit me. Not only because I'm a blogger, which just makes me enjoy the irony. But also because that's me. And it's going to be my boys if I don't watch it.
As we are preparing to plant, and riding this crazy train, I'm realizing not only how easy but how appealing it is to be the critic. To sit in your pew, week after week and criticize. I'm not preaching to the audience (I'm a woman I can't preach). I'm not even preaching to the choir. It's me. I'm a critic. It's so easy to sit from the safety of my un-invested area, with nothing on the line and decide how they should be doing it better. I watch it time after time in church members and in myself. And if I'm honest, it was that initial critical nature that made church planting so appealing. I was so frustrated with how little voice I had, how little the leadership listened, how little they did. And I was invested. But when we stepped out and began pursuing a church plant, God put the breaks on. At the time, I didn't know why. Now I know a little bit of why. He wanted to weed out that critical nature. He wanted to take me out of the "Never done it but know it all" place and into the "have no idea what I'm doing and probably the worst person for the job, but God called me so here I go" place. And it's humbling. It's humiliating to realize that you've run your mouth but have no alternative and nothing to show for it.
God is so good to humble us. I know that sounds weird, but it is true. His goodness will not allow us to put ourselves on His throne. We are not the King. We serve Him. And while I'm absolutely NOT against judging rightly between sound doctrine and false, between flesh and Spirit, I'm also vigorously submitting my every critical thought to His sound judgment and trusting Him to show me the truth through His grace.
That's a good lesson for me. But I also need to learn it for my boys. I want to teach them that we are not merely hearers of the Word and therefore deceived by ourselves. We are doers. And that means getting up, off the sofa, off the pew and investing. It means lending a hand. It means inviting a neighbor, leading a song, teaching a class, joining a team. Put on a shoe and do some walking, then we'll talk. We teach empathy at our house, but I also want to teach servant leadership. To me and to my boys.