There is a story surrounding the character of Superman that comes and goes from my mind, haunts me really. So we are clear, Superman has super-hearing, as well as super-eyesight. The story goes that there is a moment when Superman hears so many cries for help at one time that he mathematically cannot come to everyone’s aid. This renders Superman inert for just a moment, but the moment is long enough that those that suffer is even greater than what it would have been had he not hesitated. There are two parallels to draw from. One is that of being overwhelmed, and the other is that of hesitation. This type of hesitation has to do with being overwhelmed, not with being cautious.
I find the story to be an incredible metaphor today. We are hyper-connected to almost every corner of the earth. We are capable of changing lives for the better at home and abroad in substantial ways, but we are overwhelmed, and we hesitate. Not only have our actions become a reaction to the plight of others, but to our own hesitations. How do we overcome such obstacles? I want to piggyback off a devotion that Katy shared some weeks ago, when she talked about focusing on what you CAN do, as opposed to things that you cannot. Here comes the piggybacking (words piggyback from here to the next paragraph).
I want to talk about the burdens we all carry, the weight. Like Atlas condemned to hold up the world as punishment, we too can feel like we are being punished by the burdens we carry. This compounded over time can render us inert, as well, and our hesitation becomes a constant. Imagine every time you have hesitated to speak up until you began to believe that you no longer had a voice. That is just one example, but you can imagine the big picture. I find it interesting to think about the burdens we carry and their role in determining when we hesitate. To flip the narrative, some burdens we carry are that of grievances with one another, and the hesitation arrives in not working towards a resolution. Of course, those kept grievances, over time, only add to the weight one carries. It really is a vicious cycle. So, what is the solution?
Well, there is a Disney song for that, of course. There is also a great moment in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where the father, Henry Jones, tells his son, Indiana, to “let it go”. You have to let it go. This is the companion piece to Matthew 11, verse 28. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Think of that verse as if you were in the corner of a ring, in a boxing match, taking a breather before getting back to the fight. Jesus is there for your respite. He is your coach, but you have to take the next step, and the true fight is back in the ring of life, letting go of those burdens.
My prayer for you is that you might take stock of the burdens you are carrying, of the weight that you are putting on your shoulders day in and day out. Take a breather, know that Jesus will give you rest, but also that you have to get back in the ring of life and face those burdens.
I hope you are still thinking of Superman. Do you want to know how he faced his burdens? He asked for help. He created a Justice League, and together they shared the burden, which became an honor. We are capable of changing lives for the better at home and abroad in substantial ways, but only when we unload our burdens and help unload the burdens of others. That way there is no more hesitation on the path to resolution. Together, we will not be overwhelmed. We can relieve Atlas and replace the crushing sensation on one’s shoulders with billions of hands holding up the world, ready to work together.