I Am Batman - "The Symbol"
You will be hard-pressed to watch a superhero movie, or read a superhero comic book and not be presented with the question, "why do you wear that mask?" It seems that when any individual steps forward into a hero role, an aura of some sort is inevitable. People...Individuals are corruptible. Because of sin, we cannot "be" without fault. As a result, heros turn the general public's attention to an object or idea greater than themselves.
I am not just talking supernatural heroes here! Let's think Biblical. Paul knew this. In Philippians 1:21 he points out that to live is CHRIST. John 3:30 Martin Luther became a hero by establishing a philosophy that is survived by his 95 thesis. Patrick Henry's legacy was formed in the statement "give me liberty or give me death." Nathan Hale said " I regret that I have but one life to live for my country." Our military heroes turn people's eye to the flag of our country. Batman's character is forged from the persona of a bat.
Where any of these men could have easily built a following on their name, they each knew that people fail. People die. People's preferences change. In order for a hero to build a legacy and affect change, he must portray a symbol, compelling the public not by fear, but by an internal calling.
"As a man, I can be ignored or destroyed; but as a symbol I can be incorruptible."
Every kid uses a blanket as a cape and underwear as a mask after after watching a superhero on TV. Every kid believes in their heart that THEY will someday conquer the world. We have a natural, internal drive to do great things. No one sets out in life to be a bum and never do anything worth while. Our unique signature, our "John Hancock" firms up the idea that we want to "leave our mark." Deep down, you WANT to be a hero that is remembered.
But...time goes on. We get bogged down in the mundane. We try just to fit in. We in essence render ourselves ineffective and "normal." Is this ok? Are you reading this going "But I don't want to be normal?" If not - pause for a moment, do a V8 slap to your face, and return for further instruction. You have realized that as an individual, the legacy you were attempting to leave on your own has been destroyed and corrupted by your mistakes. Is it too late to change?
NO. Say it with me: "I Am Batman." 1 Corinthians 6 reminds us that you are not your own! You are crucified with Christ yet you live....actually it's not YOU! It's CHRIST that lives IN you. As a man, you can be ignored. You can be destroyed. YOU WILL FAIL. But as a symbol, you can be incorruptible. We are here on this earth to make a difference and leave a mark...but not our own. We live to reflect Jesus. As you examine your motives and conversation, where do they point? When people look at you what do they see? Is it you, or do you exist to symbolize someone bigger?