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.”
A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend and I roamed the shelves of Books-A-Million. (Yes, we actually had a date in a bookstore). All went well until I spotted some merchandise. But not just any merchandise. Much to my disappointment, I saw action figures and other items based upon an individual who—in my opinion—shouldn’t be celebrated.
My frustration must’ve been obvious. Eventually, my girlfriend asked me who the publicized woman was. The woman found in action figure form. And I responded, “She’s a very horrible person.” Out loud. With a touch of fury. And a whole lot of regret.
As Christians, we’re called to be different. That’s a no-brainer. Don’t get drunk. Don’t have premarital sex. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Don’t cuss. You’ve probably heard those commands. And chances are, you’ve heard them from the supposedly “good” people of the world — Christians.
Now, don’t get me wrong, those statements are true. We are, indeed, called to be different. But there’s a reason why. Most people know God’s commands, but if they don’t know the reason behind those commands, they’ll likely continue living in disobedience.
Do you ever find yourself partaking in something which seems to pose no danger?
There are many things in life that appear beautiful on the outside. But when you really dig beneath the surface, great dangers exist.
Take last Monday’s solar eclipse, for example. The moon covered the sun. The sky darkened. And millions of people scurried to see it with their own eyes—protected, of course.
“He restores my soul…” (Psalm 23:3 ESV).
The Hebrew word being used for “restore” is shûb, meaning “turn” or “return.”
Then, there’s “soul.” It’s a translation of the Hebrew word nephesh. The definition? Well, in Psalm 23, it’s defined as “the life of the individual.” But it also relates to a variety of other English words—for example, “mind.” According to my dictionary, a single word in our language doesn’t give it justice.
Your life is so valuable—so deep, amazing, and beautiful—that it’s nearly impossible to define the deepest part of who you are with a single word.
Therefore, let’s go back to the four words quoted from Psalm 23:3. After studying some Hebrew, it means something like this: “God turns, or returns, my life.”