Are You A Woman Of Wonder?
We have three boys who all went through the superhero stage. My oldest dressed as Spider-Man everywhere we went. He was constantly shooting imaginary webs at villains (fellow grocery shoppers). Every time he saw a brick wall, he attached himself to it and climbed all the way to the top with his sticky palms. At least, he thought he did. I just let him pretend, because of YOLO.
My middle son often sported a red cape with a yellow lightening bolt. He wanted to be Flash so bad, which was sort of a bummer because his asthma prevented him from running at super-speed like his hero. That’s just real life. Boo.
Then my youngest was born. He was Batman. I didn't say he dressed up like Batman. He was Batman.
(Read in a deep, slow, raspy draw.) He even has the Bruce Wayne charm, wit, and conceitedness. Can a 5 year old be conceited? Yes. Yes, he can.
I encourage super-hero play; Probably because I myself always kinda felt like I was born for Wonder. I remember swinging on a swing in the back yard as a young girl and singing at the top of my lungs. At some point the swing morphed into a magic carpet and I was soaring through the air with my Arabian prince.
My husband and I walked out of the theater hand in hand. Wonder Woman was fantastic. I love getting swept up in a good, make-believe story.
But that’s all it is. Fantasy. Fiction. No mortal woman has moves like that. My boys could not really scale walls, run in a blur of lightening speed, or have a genius intellect that creates access to a world of vast wealth and technology.
Real life pales in comparison to these adventures, right?
Wait! That was a trick question! See, we get so wrapped up in fiction that we forget who we are and what in the world we are doing here.
We aren’t just plopped on this planet here by chance and without purpose. In his book Epic, John Eldredge writes,
“It’s true of every fairy tale, every myth, every Western, every epic…..All of these stories borrow from the Story. From Reality….There is a Story written on the human heart.
Something hidden in the ancient past. Something dangerous now unfolding. Something waiting in the future for us to discover. Some crucial role for us to play.
For when you were born, you were born into an Epic that has already been under way for quite some time. It is a Story of beauty and intimacy and adventure, a Story of danger and loss and heroism and betrayal.”
This is the story all Christ followers say we believe in. The cause of Christ, the story of redemption. See, I believe we were all created for Wonder. We long for story because we were created for, and born into a story. We look to a hero, and the cross is the crucial plot twist.
So I don't have a truth- serum- laced, glowy-whip thing like Wonder Woman. What I have is a real, heart-pounding role to play in the epic of all time. I think there are two types of Christians. Those who embrace laying down their life for Christ, and bored ones.
See, I used to be the latter. I watched Netflix way too much. I found real life disenchanting and I was longing for more. I wanted to be whisked away like when I was a child and I just wanted to live in my imagination. I needed story. I craved adventure. I longed for romance. I yearned for a purpose. But I lacked an adventure to go on. So I settled for Netflix.
And then my life fell apart. Boredom had struck my husband too, and he had an affair. My little family was threatened to be broken to pieces. In desperation I cried to God to fix it. And to my delight and surprise, guess what I found? He answered me. All of the stuff I read about in the Bible, that I had grown up hearing as a child, became real. I found it all held up when the facades of my life I thought had been so sturdy, collapsed around me.
In my desperation, I was prepared to give God everything. I thought I would lose my life like it says in Matthew 10:39. But then, in the losing, guess what else I found? I gained it.
I found myself plopped into a wild adventure that, unlike my stories I used to escape from reality, this is reality. If we truly have a Father who created the heavens, the galaxies, the earth, raging waters, smoldering heat and blistering cold, then we certainly have the kind of access that makes Bruce Wayne Enterprises look humble.
Today I watch my kids play super heroes and I play too. But we are playing. Our real life is more of an adventure than the fantasy I so fantastically watched in front of me in surround sound.
If you follow Christ, you joined a living saga and joined the ranks of saints before us. Surely those who come after us are gravely counting on us to play our roles well. Bored Christians make no thunder. They take no ground. They make little noise.
When Paul said, “I fought the good fight”, I think about his life. He traveled the world, was shipwrecked, thrown in prison, evaded death in a myriad of heart-pounding last minute escapes, wrote books, had a great platform and addressed political leaders, and founded churches. He was an adventurer. Now that you mention it, most of the personalities from the Bible lived the most exhilarating stories I’ve ever read.
That’s because our faith is amazing. Real faith is anything but boring and if we are living a Christian life short of giving up everything and following after Christ on a holy, wild adventure, I dare say it’s user-error.
If you are not fighting and left breathless from wonder, at least from time to time, may I humbly suggest, you’ve yet to join the story and discover your purpose in the great tale. My book, A Fierce Love begins when my marriage fell apart, and I talk about how fierce life became after surrounding wholly to Jesus. I don't serve a bored God. I serve a fierce one, and I look to him with expectation, full of wonder.