“Have a seat. We’ll call for you shortly,” they say. Open a magazine or two. Ruffle through the newspaper. Scroll through Facebook. And watch some news on a tiny television. Welcome to the waiting room.
It can’t get much worse than this, folks. The waiting room sits among the most dreaded places on the planet. Next to the Walmart checkout line.
But how often do we find ourselves here? Not the typical waiting room decked with cushions and chairs. Rather than waiting on a doctor, we’re waiting for an answer. A cure. A job. A spouse. A friend. I think you get the point. None of us are exempt from the waiting rooms of life.
I’m surprised by the size of self-help sections in bookstores. Maybe I shouldn’t be. According to an article from The New Yorker called “Improving ourselves to death,” there’s a self-improvement industry that “takes in ten billion dollars a year.” Why? Because people everywhere—of all ethnicities, cultures, and religions—recognize a need for help.
It’s not a new concept. Consider the words of the psalmist who writes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2 ESV).
I’m not a fan of Shakespeare. But I love words. And in his play, “Romeo and Juliet,” a simple quote calls for my attention.
From the Italian city of Verona, a family feud takes place between the Montagues and the Capulets. These two families hate one another. But Romeo (who belongs to the Montagues) and Juliet (who belongs to the Capulets) fall deeply in love.
In the words of John Newton’s 1779 hymn, “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.”
This story never gets old. Not because it’s the most popular Christian hymn. Not because your church sings it every Sunday. Rather, it’s the story of redemption. And for those of us who belong to Him, it’s the “… light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4 ESV).
Trying to explain Marvel comics to me is like viewing a deer in headlights. Your most elaborate explanation only draws a blank stare. Just ask a friend of mine. Educating me on the various Spiderman movies is a great way to lose my attention.
According to Thomas Frey, a futurist, “We are entering a ‘superhero era.’ Each of us think about superheroes differently, but they are far more than entertainment. For many, they add purpose, meaning, and inspiration to a world often devoid of those qualities.” In other words, Thor and Batman give people hope. Iron Man and Hulk transcend human frailties. It’s a “superhero culture.” And the most popular superhero series of our day is “Avengers.”