I wish I was a Super Hero (or why I became a youth minister)

I have been thinking about this post for some time now.  I preached a topic similar to this a few weeks ago, so hopefully I can FINALLY gather a few thoughts and hammer them out on this keyboard.

There really is only one way to say this…  I am a geek.  If you also happen to be a geek than you already know what I mean by that.  If not, I pity you.  My geekdom stretches into every part of my life.  My hobbies and interests become obvious the moment you step into my house or office, or when you look at my car.  I have more Legos than most stores carry at any given time, video games and merch are all over the place, collectibles abound.  As I sit here typing this, a completely original 1983 all steel Ertl A-Team van (with functioning sliding door and B.A. behind the wheel) sits atop my cabinet next to several other toy/model cars.  Several comic book encyclopedias sit on my desk, the list goes on and on.  I am a car geek, a religion geek, a movie geek, a video game nerd, a Lego fiend…  all that and so much more.  I am oh so proud to be called a geek.

But there is the point to all of this geek talk.  One of the things I think about most often, the thing that haunts my thoughts when I try to sleep, the one thing I want more than anything else, is to help people.  To be a Super hero, for real.  I think about the powers I’d have, the ways I’d stop bad people from doing bad things…  It never ends.

This might bring some ridicule my way (actually, it already has), but I cry when I watch super hero movies.  Not because I’m jealous of the heroes, because so often in these movies the hero’s make sacrifice themselves or the things that they want most for the good of the people.  They shoulder the hurt, they step on front of the train, they take the blow…  so that we don’t have too.  Sure, many Super heroes are egotistical, over the top, wealthier than japan, and often jerks.  But that isn’t what matters.  All that matters is that when we need them, they are there.  In our darkest hour, they stand against the evil that would see us all ground to dust, or enslaved to some mad man from another universe.  These heroes stand for whats right.  They have the courage to do something about injustice and pain.

When I look back at my life I see so many times when I could have used a Super hero.  I was fortunate enough to have “normal” people who cared for me, who stood up for me when I needed it.  But what about the people who don’t?  What about the people who feel that no one loves them?  What about the people who are at this very moment hurting, contemplating suicide, being abused by the very people who are supposed to love them?  What about the people who need a hero and don’t have one?

Before I go any further, let me explain that I know there are real heroes out there.  People who get up every day and spend it helping others, protecting others, fighting for others.  The Teacher, nurse, policeman, fire fighter, soldier…  They are so important, so needed.

That is why I became a youth minister.  I didn’t have some industrial accident that gave me super powers, I don’t draw energy from the sun that allows me to fly and lift extremely heavy things, I don’t (and never will) have an enormous sum of money with which to buy/design and build gadgets.  I am just me, no more no less.  But that is all I need to be.  You see, I have a story.  That story has shaped me into the person I am today, it has shaped the way I see the world, and the way I interact with it.  I have been blessed with gifts that let me relate to young people in ways that other adults cannot, the ability to read faces and body language (this helps in card games too), and I have the deepest desire to make sure that at least a handful of young people never go through what I went through.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish for super powers, but until that day comes, I’ll keep helping people in the only way I know how.  Being myself.
Be yourself.  Find your inner Super hero.

Blessings,

Chuck

By chuckinreallife