He spends his nights as a friendly neighborhood superhero, defending a small corner of the city he loves and striving to make the absolute best of what he’s been given. By day, though, he’s a relatively average American teen, trying to make it through school and figure out his place in the world.
In this way, Peter Parker is the ultimate representation of what we all hope for: The ability to do something great and noteworthy, even while we slog through this mundane, trivial world.
Whenever I am fully engaging my spiritual gifts in work for God’s kingdom, I feel as confident as Spidey. Whether working with kids at Vacation Bible School, leading a poignant worship service on Sunday, or writing blogs like this (and books like this!), I feel the power of the Lord flowing through me like I have the equivalent strength of a hundred spiders (that’s a strange image, I’ll admit, but I think you get the picture…).
However, when I’m not doing those awesome, incredible, God-inspired things (which is most of the time), I certainly relate more with Peter.
I’m sure you know the feeling. We often feel a little less than awesome when we have to deal with everyday problems. Bills, errands, and the routine maintenance of “real life” are indeed very real for all of us. We must deal with devastatingly mundane issues in between those shining, shimmering moments of triumph. The contrast is especially distinct for those who know how great it feels to harness our full potential and do the best we can with it. This fallen world clamors and screams for our attention, and sometimes we must answer the call.
In those moments, of which there are many, we can take heart with a few simple reminders from the One who calls us to greater power and responsibilities.
The first, of course, is to remember God will always take care of us. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus reminds us God’s love for us is boundless, so much deeper than His love for the flowers of the field, and He will always make sure we have everything we need. When life’s little worries bog us down, Jesus tells us that “all things will be provided for [us].”
Once we let go of our struggles and give them to God, the next thing we need to remember to do is allow ourselves to rest in His embrace (Matthew 11:28-30). In a culture that idolizes busyness and activity, it can feel like taking time off to recuperate is a waste, but God reminds us that downtime is, in fact, necessary.
I know I would burn out quicker than a bad match if I were to try and fully engage my spiritual gifts 100% of the time. Giving ourselves the chance to unwind with our Heavenly Father will enable us to fight the good fight all the better. After all, without Him, we would be nothing but vigilante do-gooders with no substantial purpose—and no unending Source to draw from (John 15:5).
Finally, we can also take heart that God has indeed called us for that big, glorious purpose; in fact, multiple glorious purposes (Jeremiah 29:11). If we keep our eyes on Him, those moments swinging from the skyscrapers will come, even if we have to work long and hard for it.
So while you’re scrolling through your feed on your lunch break, feeling very much like Peter Parker and wondering whether the world is even worth your time, remember to keep a watchful eye out for the call to action when you can put on your Spidey suit and go save the day in the way only you can.
Annie M. Pasquinelli is the worship and media director at a small church in Eugene, Oregon and the author of the Fearless Nine book series about a team of faith-based superheroes. She is also a scuba diver and a graduate of Oregon State University.
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