by Cadet 1/C Jim Freeze
My screen name refers to my being a Superman. It’s been that way since I was in sixth grade. I originally made it to say that I was a Superman for a certain person, who happened to be a girl, but recently it’s taken on a new meaning for me.
When I was growing up, I used to pretend I was Superman. I got motion sickness easily so I never wanted to fly like him, but I always dreamed of being as strong and bold and fast and cool as Superman was. Most of the time, I felt like the dorky Clark Kent instead, but the boy in me longed to be Superman. For the majority of my childhood, I felt like a weak little pip-squeak with nerdy glasses, but sometimes I would put my “blanky” around my neck and run around the house like Superman. I loved having fun like that. But then I got older. I stopped using my imagination. I let the pressures of “maturity” form me into who “they” wanted me to become-a lifeless robot of some sort.
Living a Life of Status and Popularity
For years, this Clark Kent never took off his boring, brown business suit and thick glasses to show his true colors and strength. I just went through life doing what everyone else was doing, thinking it would take me somewhere. Now, I look back, and I long for that life of fun, of adventure, of true faith. I realize that in my attempt to recreate the “exciting life” that I had forgotten, I entered a life of drinking, status, and popularity, but it was actually making me more miserable. I would constantly return to that Clark Kent-like person, a lame, robotic person of whom I wasn’t really fond.
I was never fulfilled-I needed to go to party after party and pump myself up by acting cool and buying cool things to make myself feel good. I finally thought, “There has got to be more to life than living each day just to get to the next weekend where I can get drunk one more time or make some more superficial friends. What I want more than anything is to be fulfilled in life, and what I’m doing with my life right now is not fulfilling me at all.”
Clark Kent is not who I really am, and yet I let him rule in my life everyday. I live as though I don’t even know that Superman exists. Clark Kent lives like everyone else in the world does, going through life almost mindlessly. I don’t want that. Superman, on the other hand, lives life to the fullest-he flies and stops trains and runs faster than a speeding bullet! He dreams and he laughs and he’s unusual. That’s what I want.
Living Life Fully in Christ
I finally hit rock bottom soon after I came to that understanding. Lying in a hospital bed fighting for my life from the prior night’s alcohol poisoning, I surrendered and turned my eyes upwards to find Jesus. Through a series of events, I heard the gospel message and a light instantly came on in my mind. For the first time, I understood that my sin eternally separated me from living in communion with God, and the only way to get right with Him was to believe that Jesus is who He said He is.1 It made perfect sense to me-I would never be “good enough” to get to heaven, but only through faith in Christ.
I used to think of Jesus as a fun-sucking rule-maker of do’s and don’ts, but after reading the Bible for myself, I’ve come to realize that Jesus actually says the exact opposite. He tells us that the very reason He came to earth in the first place is that we might “have life and have it to the full.”2
Living Life as an Adventure
I recently read a book called Dangerous Wonders, by Mike Yaconelli, that made the nature of Christ very clear to me. It reads, “Every time the disciples started establishing rules-no children near Jesus; don’t let the crowd touch Jesus; don’t talk to Samaritan women; don’t let people waste expensive perfumes-Jesus told them to knock it off, and His rebuke was usually followed by a lecture that said, ‘You still don’t get it! We are not substituting religious rules with new rules. We are substituting religious rules with Me!‘ Jesus kept saying, ‘Follow Me!‘ not ‘Follow My Rules.’ So most of us have spent our Christian lives learning what we can’t do instead of celebrating what we can do in Jesus.”3 Focusing on doing this and not doing that and saying, “I believe this, that, and the other thing,” doesn’t sound very appealing to me. “Follow me!” sounds like an adventure-it sounds like life-the full life that Jesus came to provide!
Living Life with God
I want an adventure. I want a relationship with God the Creator and Jesus my Friend, not a formula of “Steps to Feeling Good about Yourself.” I don’t want to learn more about God; I want to know God and get so intimate with Him that I actually think of Him as the caring Father He truly is. I want to trust God at His Word like a child trusts his daddy and not doubt like one who’s never experienced grace-God has always been faithful to me.4 I don’t want to be afraid to ask questions-being curious only strengthens my relationship with Him.
Love and Enjoy God
I want to remember having no fear, jumping from the dresser into my father’s arms. I want to run across my back yard, barefoot, like I’m faster than a cheetah; I want my bed to be my clubhouse; I want to think there are monsters in my closet, and I want to beat them up with supernatural strength; I want to be held; I want to love without fearing the hurt of loss and accept love from others not based on what I’ve done or who I am but simply because God is Love.5 I want to enjoy God. I want to feel in my heart the shedding of that ugly Clark Kent business suit and beam the bright colors of an adventurous superhero! I’ve decided that I want to live. I’m going to have faith like a child.6 I’m going to be a Superman for Christ.
1 John 3:16, John 20:29
2 John 10:10
3 Michael Yaconelli, Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith, (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2003), 58
4 2 Timothy 2:13
5 1 John 4:16
6 Mathew 18:4
Jim Freeze is a First Class Cadet at the United States Military Academy (USMA ’05) and the Cadet-In-Charge of OCF at West Point this year. He wrote this devotion to all of OCF at the beginning of the school year to encourage his fellow cadets to fall in love with Jesus again and renew their relationship with the Father. Jim branched Armor in October and expects to get stationed at Ft. Hood, TX after graduation this May.