What I Learned from Batman
Do you ever encounter the same problem over and over again?
When I was a kid, my dad loved watching the old Batman shows from the 60s. Sitting on the floor in front of our mammoth television, I wondered why Batman couldn’t just finish off those pesky villains. Batman always had the same enemies. They simply cycled through depending on the day and situation.
I wondered, How many times is he going to have the same fight with the Joker? Doesn’t he see the pattern? When is he going to face new challenges? Doesn’t he see what’s going on?
These are all valid questions, but they were naive and simplistic.
Now, as an adult, I find myself facing the same foes over and over: perfectionism, performing, and people-pleasing. I’ll gain victory over one only to find myself battling another. They rear their ugly heads, much like Batman’s nemeses.
It’s so obvious it’s almost embarrassing.
Over the past few weeks, my schedule has become more and more bloated. I equate my decision-making to ordering at a restaurant. I see all the options, and they all look good. So, I order a little off each section. A few appetizers. A few salads. A few entrees. And, of course, some dessert. I’m hungry, and it all seems appealing.
Then the food arrives, plate after delectable plate. It’s all good stuff: great opportunities and things I like and enjoy. The only problem is that I can’t consume or digest all of it. The worst part is that I fill up on good things, but not the best things, which leaves me feeling dissatisfied and still hungry.
So I order more.
What’s the antidote is this dilemma? How do you fight your enemy once and for all?
I wish I had the answer.
Alas, I’m still in Batman’s shoes (but thankfully not his tights).
But, if you’re like me—an over-scheduling over-committer who under-delivers to those I love—I can give you an antacid to help with your schedule-bloating.
After collecting dust on my shelf for a few years, I reread Lysa TerKeurst’s The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. These quotes stood out to me, and I believe they’ll help you as well:
“First, we must get good at saying no to ourselves. No to that resistance inside called awkwardness.”
Let’s face it: saying no is hard. Saying yes feels so good. But that moment only lasts, well, a moment. That momentary burst of feeling good will soon be followed with regret. Like Lysa said, say no to yourself. Put some boundaries on yourself. Limit yourself. This will only protect you and give space to the good things in your life to grow.
“The only way to diminish our regrets is by making decisions that lead to peace.”
This peace won’t just benefit you; it will also benefit those around you. Whenever I have plates and plates of food in front of me, it’s embarrassing to have to send the meal back while saying, “I can’t eat this because I’ve ordered too much.” Unintentionally, I create more work for others. If you’re honest with yourself and others, that momentary awkwardness of saying no will actually benefit those around you just as much as yourself.
“Like a tree, a woman can’t carry the weight of two seasons simultaneously. In the violent struggle of trying, she’ll miss every bit of joy each season promises to bring.”
How good is that? Her remedy is release. Release the expectations. Release the weight of being perfect (which is impossible). Release the weight of trying to please others (which isn’t in your control).
Instead of trying to do it all or shut down and do nothing, I’m working on being still. I’m asking the Lord what I need from this season. I’m considering what he wants for me in this season. I’m remembering that he is good and has good plans.
But that goodness doesn’t equate to easiness or comfort. You will find contentment, peace, and gratitude. Truly, these are the ways to vanquish the enemy—maybe not once and for all, but for today.
Today, ask God to show you what your Best Yes is and how you can seek after it wholeheartedly.
Blessings to you,