I reread it so often the pages were thin and torn. The words captured my mind and allowed me to dream and see power in my own life. I was caught up by the wonder and majesty that can only happen from inspired words. And I knew that there was a power beyond myself that would one day catapult me to greatness. I, like every other boy I knew, wanted to grow up to be Spiderman.
I wanted to be powerful, super, funny, mysterious, and everything else that sprang to life on the pages of these comic book stories. I couldn’t put it to words then, but I now see what compelled Peter Parker to be a superhero. It came from Uncle Ben’s now-famous words: “with great power comes great responsibility.”
At the time, I thought this adage was only poetic. What I didn’t realize is that it was also prophetic; through it God captured my heart, revealed HIS greatness, and set me on a path toward responding to His majesty.
If you somehow missed the origin story of The Amazing Spiderman, this may help. Peter Parker received unbelievable powers that he chose to waste and ignore. His uncle helped him realize that something MUST be done with the gifts and power Peter had.
As I grew in my own life and relationship with Christ, I had the good pleasure of adults pointing me toward true power. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). People around me helped identify God’s greatness and helped me understand the responsibility that comes with that. Watching others live in response to God’s greatness compelled me to live that same life of gratitude and worship for myself.
Parents, if we want our children to live a life overwhelmed by the greatness of God, it starts with us. Are you astounded by God’s vast creation and greatness? When it is impressed upon us that “all things have been created through him and for him,” we can pass that knowledge on to others. We cannot give away what we do not have. I am often relieved I don’t have to create the greatness of God—He will take care of that. All I have to do is look for it and recognize where it is already happening. I talk about that with my children and students. I then live in awe and gratitude, marking the moments when God particularly amazes me. It is the best way I know to live out the responsibility of knowing God’s incredible power.