The Thing I Like About …

Smallville: the one where the Bart Allen (the young Flash) is kidnapped by Lex Luthor.

Lex has, for whatever reason Lex has, kidnapped Bart and put him in a circular cage with an electric floor. If Bart can run fast enough, he can stay alive, but if he stops running as fast as he can, then the floor will be able to electrocute him.

Bart starts running. As fast as he can.

He runs for who knows how long, running so fast that he’s just a blur, running so long that sweat streams down his face, and he looks so tired. And he has no idea if anyone even knows he’s there, if anyone’s even looking for him. He doesn’t know if Clark Kent is on his way; he doesn’t know when Clark will arrive. But he knows he wants to live.

So he just keeps running.

I can’t even say how many times, and in how many ways, life feels like that circular cage, and we feel like Bart, just running as fast as we can for as long as we can, just to survive. Some days it doesn’t even feel worth it. We have no way of knowing when life will stop feeling like that, or even if the floor is really electrified, but we don’t want to find out the hard way by stopping and being killed. We don’t really know if anyone knows that we’re struggling, or if they care that we’re in trouble.

It just starts to feel easier to give up, to lay down and die – metaphorically or literally – to stop running before a rescue that might never get there.

But Clark knows about Bart. He cares about Bart. He’s looking for Bart. And he finds him, and saves him.

Is it about having faith in the Clark of our lives, having faith that people care about us and will help us? It is. But it’s about more.

It’s about running anyway, about having that faith in ourselves, about wanting our lives enough to keep living them. It’s about that kind of faith, and that kind of patience, and that kind of endurance – that if Clark doesn’t find Bart in time, then Bart will die trying to live.

That’s what it’s about … and what I try to remember when I feel like I’m stuck in that cage.

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