Superman Complex   6 comments

SI grew up believing that I was superhuman, that I could and should have every quality admired in others.  After all, my grandfather’s biography was titled “Always in Triumph,” and I was cut from the same cloth.  So I inherited a Supersaint cape, but not the genes, expectations without the abilities.  Every attribute in others turned into a goal for me, and every weakness of mine must be muscled into a strength.  Without asking how a basketball player would fare in a saddle or why marathoners and sprinters had such different builds, I was determined to be a complete spiritual athlete, equally good at figure skating and weight-lifting.

different-racesI did not realize that my qualities as a gift to the church were unique, that my strengths supplied the lack in others’ weaknesses and that their gifts filled in for my inadequacies.  None of us were designed to do it all, but rather each is to be a vital member of a team, offering his unique perspectives, abilities, and traits.  Someone who is good at sympathizing is shaped differently from someone who is good at challenging.  The cheerful and friendly are not usually given to reflection and quiet.  Often we assume that maturing makes us all alike, good at all aspects of spirituality.  But if each of us is designed uniquely, becoming more mature may well make us more distinct, though each a beautiful aspect of God’s character.

We are God’s orchestra, and the drums are not in competition with the flutes or the trombones fighting the violins.  Each has its own music.  We can delight in one another’s contributions and seek to find the flow of harmony in concert.  I can be inspired by their dedication and enthusiasm, discipline and creativity because we have the same values and shared goals, but my score is my own.  May I take satisfaction and pleasure in the instrument God designed me to be.

be yourself


Posted January 30, 2014 by janathangrace in thoughts

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6 responses to “Superman Complex

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  1. Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. (Albert Einstein)

  2. So well said.. I am blessed.

  3. As your cousin I share the same grandfather, and indeed was named after him (Robert). But since the link for me was maternal, I did not have the same last name, which I’ve always been grateful for. While the McQuilkins (and CIU community) are not Catholic, on the matter of R.C. McQuilkin, many really were rather Catholic in attributing sainthood to him. I’m sure he had many admirable characteristics, but I agree a hundred percent with your comments here. Well said!!

    • Bob, thanks for commenting. I think hero worship has its big downsides, one being unrealistic expectations (and re-imagining reality, which is a worse problem still). I am glad our society, after its long flirtation with a Disneyland worldview, has taken to remembering in pop-culture (even Disney!) that heroes are flawed.

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