OK, I’ll admit it… I sometimes watch Smallville.
No, it’s not to watch Clark act like a doofus every week, I actually end up screaming at the TV “will you just get over the adolescent angst thing and grow up!!” more often than not.
And it’s not to watch Chloe show more intelligence, maturity and snappy one-liners than the rest of the cast put together (or at least I can’t admit I watch Chloe, my wife reads this blog).
No, I actually tune in to watch Lex. I see Lex representing humanity and what has went wrong with us since the Fall in some intriguing ways.
In the episode Lexmas, in a near-death experience Lex gets to see a future where he turns from his dark side and finds a life worth living with the woman that he loves.. and yet it ends in pain and loss. His dead mother in the vision pleads with him to accept that life even with its pain, but Lex is convinced of a better way. He says,
And you know what the secret to living happily ever after is? Power! Money…and power! Since when you have those two things, you can secure everything else. And keep it that way…
In the later episode Void, once again Lex has a near death experience and talks with his dead mother. This time she warns and begs,
You think the path you’ve chosen isn’t going to hurt? It will. More than you can ever imagine. You’re not the only one who’s going to suffer…a field of beautiful flowers lain barren by an emptiness that can never be filled…don’t let the blood wash away what’s left of your soul…[the blood] of all the people you’re going to murder…
Even after that dire warning, Lex is even more determined to grab the power he needs to make the life he wants happen, to take the path he thinks will avoid any pain.
Ever since Eve, we have convinced ourselves that we know what it’s going to take to make our life happy, and we do anything necessary for that to come about. We choose the path that we think will avoid pain, but in our fallenness we end up making bad choices. We avoid the path of a painful conversation, but later we must walk the path of a broken relationship. We avoid the path of hunger, but we later must endure the pain of obesity. Or like Lex, we choose the path of power and control to prevent anything bad happening to us or the ones we love, but one day we will look back and see that the very path we thought would free us from pain instead imprisons us in it.
The path our fallen hearts choose may seem right to us, but they will always end in pain. Only by turning to Christ, only by taking His narrow way and being willing to endure His cross, will we be able to escape the path that looks promising to our human wisdom but can only end in agony:
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:23-26 ESV)