On several occasions I’ve been challenged by people, who are likely not Christians, to be a better Christian. It is always to my chagrin to experience that.
One such scenario happened a couple weekends ago at Kansas City’s Planet ComiCon (comic convention). If you’ve never been to a comicon, it’s basically a convention for nerds of every level. You have the surface-level nerds (like myself) who get basic comic book references because we watch super hero movies or shows. You have those who know a great deal about comic lore and are heavily steeped in its traditions. Then you have the people who are so fanatical about it, they dress up like their favorite character (for better or worse…most of the time worse) and parade around in what is known as cosplay.
But comicon isn’t just about comics; it also attracts video and board game enthusiasts, pop culture aficionados, and stars of the silver and little screens. One of these stars, Jason David Frank, is known best as the green/white/red/best Power Ranger from the 90’s TV show (which is, believe it or not, still pumping out new shows, though with a revolving cast).Of all the people making appearances at Planet ComiCon, his was the most exciting to me (yes, above even Stan Lee).
So I coaxed the friend who came with me to go meet this guy. When we first walked by, a sign said he would be gone for an hour. We walked around and came back. The sign said it would be another 45 minutes. I was groaning internally. Was it worth standing in a long line to meet my childhood hero? Eventually my friend wisely asserted that we should take our place in line and wait it out. I’m not the first to voluntarily wait in line, but the day was waning and I saw it would save time in the long run, so I more or less agreed.
And this is where the beauty of people watching brought good fruit. As people waited very patiently in line (some of whom had been there longer than us), there was not heard a discouraging word among the fans. If anything, passersby would stop to take pictures with some of the cosplayers, others swapped stories. Me, I whined a little. I don’t like lines and my impatience was creeping out. I made a couple snarky remarks to my friend, who let them bounce off like phasers on a deflector shield and calmly waited. I eventually saw my folly and shut my mouth.
I would not dare say that nerds are perfect or anything of that ilk, but I learned something from that small microcosm that afternoon. It is possible to be in an inconvenient situation, one that requires waiting, and not feel the need to voice a complaint. It is reasonable to ask of one to not grumble or complain when long-suffering is needed. The Bible warns against complaining and even tells Christians that their “reasonableness” should “be known to everyone.”
As I’ve grown older, I’ve embraced more of the idea that I deserve the best treatment, the quickest lines, the latest conveniences. But the next time I feel the need to whine, I should remember those patient and affable supporters of the most famous Power Ranger.
Epilogue: Mr. Frank did eventually arrive, a little sooner than expected, and was very gracious for everyone’s patience. I only shook hands with him and got a picture, but he seemed like a great guy, and goes on my “Mount Rushmore” of famous-people-I’d-like-to-have-a-conversation-with.
Reminder: Don’t forget I have a Western story up for your viewing pleasure here! If you like it enough, you can vote for it on the main page as your favorite!
Photo: Fan Boy! from Freakazoid!