Have you ever felt like there’s so much on your plate that you have little choice but to roll up your sleeves and get started pronto? Like, if you don’t shoot off that email right this moment or send that text off this exact second or douse that proverbial fire now, that life will fall apart?
I know I have.
Whether I admit it or not, I feel like a superhero trying to save the day. The people depend on me, I think to myself, as I swing into action. If I don’t do this, who will, I ask myself, as I jump headfirst into the day’s schedule.
I’m calling it the “Superhero Syndrome” - a condition where I somehow assume that the world’s cares lie squarely on my shoulders.
My save-the-world antics inevitably mean one thing: my prayer life gets to play step-child to my work (paid or otherwise).
I’ll pray in a bit, I tell myself. Just as soon as I tackle these few non-negotiable items, I say with practiced conviction. And the Enemy smiles.
You and I both know what happens after that. We usher in a dopamine rush with one email or one task checked off - and then we need another “hit,” and then another. It’s like a powerful magnet of work attracting more work. I glance at the clock and realise that it’s been an hour or two or three of being “productive” without really being “fruitful.”
Inevitably, there’s always something stressful that the world throws at you on any given day. There’s a missed deadline, a rude email from your boss, a sick child who needs to be picked up from school, someone taking credit for your work, not enough coffee, too much traffic… And, after feeding our systems with nothing but work, our response to those unavoidable darts flying at us is not very pretty.
We slam the phone on an unsuspecting telemarketer. We cut someone off in traffic. We yell at flabbergasted kids who happened to ask us one question too many. Or, we let it all fester inside us like a tornado gathering speed. We get ugly. We get sad. And the Enemy smiles some more.
If I trace my ugly action back to its root, I see the reason I got into this mess in the first place: I thought I could handle it all on my own. I had taken the Eternal, Omnipotent God out of the equation and told Him, “Thanks for your help so far, but I got this from here.”
I wanted to play superhero. I sailed smoothly for a while. And when turbulence came along, I went splat.
This new year, let’s remind ourselves that it’s okay to take off that cape. It’s okay to retire that title of Super Anyone… whether it is Super Mom, or Super Employee, or Super Church Member, or whatever else your particular brand of superhero might be. You and I have the marvellous (and, woefully under-used) option of taking a deep breath, releasing control, and letting God be God!
This new year, run that race marked out for you – but first wait upon Him. Because those who wait on Him soar on wings like eagles. That’s our promise. That’s our hope. And, that's the only kind of flying we're called to.