I love watching action movies where the good guy overcomes unbelievable odds to outwit the bad guy like Bruce Willis does in the “Die Hard” movies or when the good guy fights to save the female at the last minute like the movie “Taken” with Liam Neeson. Movies have a profound way of moving us at a deep level. I believe these kinds of movies reflect a deeper yearning that lies in each of us – it’s the desire to be the hero, to make a difference, to come through in some valuable and special way. I think that is why we resonate with heroic stories.
I recently watched “The Taking of Pelham 123” and after the movie I felt quite inspired by Denzel Washington’s heroic efforts. He is the center of the story, the tip of the spear. If he fails the mission fails…if he is successful, the story is a success. In the movie Denzel was put in the unique position of being the only person who could bring calm to the horrific drama. It was all up to him and no one else could save the day.
Pretty soon after watching the movie I began to settle back into my suburban life in Alpharetta, Georgia. Compared to the action hero, I suddenly I felt small and insignificant. Does that sound right to you? Is this what really happens to us…do we see our lives as “regular” and of little consequence?
Surely this cannot be true. Surely there is something of great value at stake in my world and at stake in your world, right?
I’ll tell you an astounding truth. God has given you and me a very unique role to play here on earth. Unlike Hollywood’s make believe, your role is real and it can make a profound difference in other’s lives. You have a world to affect, to change, to save – in fact, you are the ONLY person who can play the role in your story, no one else can do it for you. In your day-to-day world, big things are at stake.
- Your boss needs to see honesty around him because he’s thinking of stealing money from the company.
- The sick-looking woman at the grocery store needs your kind word to make it through the day.
- Your child needs to be shown how to be warriors in a tough world.
- The single Mom down the street needs her car fixed so she can get to work.
- The middle schooler next door needs to know the world really has people that care because her house is full of rage, turmoil and fighting.
- A person with depression at the office needs to see a hopeful attitude from you.
- The homeless guy downtown needs food in order to live and you feel led to help.
- Your child’s success at school and later in life largely depend on you providing help for how to prepare for tests.
- Your aging parents are looking to you to take care of them.
- Your friend who wants your advice on how to “cut a few corners” on his taxes needs to hear truth; without the truth he may go to jail.
- Your friend going through a divorce needs a steady head and a listening ear.
- Your business partner is hoping you’ll do the right thing with a big transaction because he was burned last time and he’s ready to quit.
- Your friend who is fearful and thinking of suicide, needs to see strength and courage from you, right now.
- The lady flirting with you really wants to see a strong man show her kindness and respect.
In reality, your world is a lot more exciting than that of Denzel Washington’s. You have something to contribute to your world that is vital and real and hard to do at times. But you must do it, only you can do it…
Before you strike out to live out this role God has given you I strongly advise that the first thing you do is stop and pray. Seek help, direction and strength from God. On your own, you will fail.
Matthew 19:22-26 : Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”(NIV)
Footnote: Much of the context for this blog entry is taken from a weekend retreat I recently attended in Alabama called “Battle for Men’s Hearts”. It was awesome. Basically, it was about how to be an authentic man, who engages your world in strength and love. If you want more info click here.