“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11
Around the time our oldest son learned to walk, he developed an interest in vacuums. In a short period of time, he could distinguish between brands. As we walked through the household section of stores, he pointed to various ones.
“Dat’s a Bissell. Dat’s a Hoover.”
Initially we thought thought it was cute. We even bought him a little toy vacuum that ran on batteries. But as the months went by, the vacuum interest morphed into obsession. If we visited a friend’s house, he instantly went to a hall closet to look at their vacuum. He managed to find vacuums in every book we read and every place we went. With a limited vocabulary, he talked about vacuums incessantly. We became worried. A vacuum fixation at 16 months was funny. At 16, it would mean becoming a social outcast.
Then, as quickly as it began, the vacuum fascination ended. Dirt Devil was no more. He was replaced by Fender and Gibson. For around a year, everything in our son’s life revolved around guitars. I breathed a sigh of relief. If he didn’t grow out of the interest, that would be okay. No one got beat up in the locker room for wanting to be a rock star.
But that’s not even an issue in Marvel world, where our son has lived for the last two and a half years. It has been the longest and most intense of his obsessions. You might think obsession is a little too extreme, but only if you’ve never spent more than 30 seconds with him. Everything in life revolves around Black Box, Wolverine, Gotham City (DC—I know), superpowers, and “who would win if the Abomination and the Hulk got into it?” (The answer: it has gone both ways). He gleans superhero information from random strangers, video clips from relatives’ iPhones, and a tendency to make friends who happen to be a few years older and have Thor figurines.
To be honest, a child with a one-track mind can be exhausting. It’s frustrating to turn your back in the library and find that he snuck off into the comic book section again. Sometimes I wish we could go to the playground and simply swing and go down slides instead of pretending we’re at the Stark Mansion. But the absolute hardest part of a child who is single-mindedly absorbed in one thing is that he can’t understand why you aren’t too. He has such a deep, profound, untiring love for superheroes that he can’t comprehend others don’t feel the same.
However, I have learned an incredible lesson about whole-heartedness from my son. His love of superheroes invades every area of his life. On the days that I feel overwhelmed by the intensity of it all, it humbles me to remember that if I pursued Christ with the passion and abandon that my son approaches superheroes with, life would be drastically different. The annoyance melts away and I feel challenged by the passion with which he lives life.
He is fearless, bold, dedicated, focused, and intent. Sometimes I think about what will happen if Jesus becomes the primary love of his life, instead of vacuums, guitars, or superheroes. It takes my breath away.
There would be no stopping this single-minded kid.