Superheroes and Boundaries

I know that I am not God, but sometimes I think I am a superhero. Do you know what I mean?

In the 2004 superhero movie “The Incredibles,” Mr. Incredible says, “No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for . . . for 10 minutes?!”

Compelled to keep saving the world and pushing his limits, Mr. Incredible puts his family and his life in jeopardy.

Does this sound familiar? We go all day; we push ourselves to exhaustion physically, emotionally, socially. We feel compelled to keep fixing things, cleaning up the “messes” others leave behind.

We know that we are not God, but we think we are superheroes and that we don’t need boundaries.

young boy wearing superman shirt

God created boundaries. In Genesis 1, light and darkness were given boundaries to work together. Boundaries between water and ground permitted both to be productive. God gave limits to lights, separating day from night.

In Genesis 2:2, we see perhaps the most important boundary of all, the one set apart after the work of creating all the other boundaries was finished: God rested.

I have always wondered why God rested. Why did He create that boundary if He is an infinite God?

I believe we were given this example of rest by God, the Creator of the universe who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4), so that we can have balance in our lives.

Genesis tells us we need boundaries. God did His creation work, and then He rested. Period. He commanded us mere mortals to honor His creation work by resting, as well, and in this way we have balance.

I need to regularly remind myself I am not really a superhero.

If God rested and commanded us to do the same, can I do any less?

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. — Genesis 2:2, NIV

Prayer: Lord, help us all honor the boundaries You have set for us. Forgive us for trying to be superheroes, living without limits. Help us to honor Your creation work and practice what You have commanded us to do — rest. Help us practice this in our work with Compassion and with our families.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth Parker-Sloat works as a Learning and Support Director for Compassion in Latin America.

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