New Castle News

June 7, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: Like “The Avengers,” you can help save the world

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — “If you're God's child you have been given an identity you didn't earn and blessed with potential beyond your natural gifts.”  — Paul David Tripp

So, I finally saw “The Avengers.”

I know, I know. Me and two guys in Chewton were the only ones who hadn’t seen it.

Full disclosure: I really enjoyed it.

It’s filled with action and suspense, as you might expect. But I also loved the humor and, even more important, the humanity of each character.

The film also made me think. Sure, it’s a summer blockbuster and I’m aware that I was supposed to suspend all deep thought for a couple of hours, but I just couldn’t.

So today I’d like to share some of those nuggets I’ve jotted down, especially for all the young people out there who have committed to following Christ in their daily lives. I know it’s a struggle. I know you are being pulled in many different directions. I know you are bombarded by the influences of the world through TV, magazines, the Internet and your friends at school.

So I just want to offer a word of encouragement for your journey. I know the dark forces are always popping up somewhere, but if you look hard enough, you can find God everywhere — even at the local cinema.

And, believe it or not, you have plenty in common with “The Avengers,” both good and bad.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.

•In our natural state, we’re all deeply flawed and self-absorbed = Romans 3:23

When our heroes aren’t “in costume,” Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff struggle with doubt, anger issues and pride.

Sounds a lot like me. Maybe you, too.

•We face a tricky enemy who wants to destroy us = 1 Peter 5:8

Like Loki in the film, Satan wants to create fear and doubt in your mind so you will continually be focused on self — and not be concerned with the good of others. Your arch-nemesis wants to keep you looking IN and AROUND instead of UP.

What do the voices inside your head say to you each morning? You’re fat ... you have zits ... you aren’t any good at sports ... you are stupid ... (fill in the blank with any number of choices.)

They’re lies and accusations from the pit of hell.

•Sometimes, it looks as if our world is falling apart = Psalm 46:2-3

In the movie we see all kinds of physical destruction, but we deal with loss in plenty of other ways as well.

Your best friend moved away. You flunked your English test. You got cut from the baseball team. Your uncle was arrested for selling drugs.

And that was just yesterday afternoon.

You can’t even bear to think of what might happen tomorrow.

SPOILER ALERT: In the movie, good finds a way to overcome evil. Sounds like a chance to talk about our good stuff, too ...

•God didn’t just make you, he made you to be special and to do wonderful things = Ephesians 2:10

God created you as His masterpiece and has gifted each of you in a unique way. Maybe you can’t fly, or toss a bus across a city street, but you have incredible power inside of you.

It is meant to be used for good.

•God prepared these works in advance for us to do. = Ephesians 2:10

You will succeed. Guaranteed. God has already created the film, he’s written the screenplay, and he’s directing all the actors.

He’s cast Jesus as the star and He wants you all to play a major role.

Your name is in lights. The credits have already rolled. It is finished.

•You have battle gear = Ephesians 6:10-18

Like Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow, you’ve all got your own superhero uniform, but it does nothing if you don’t put it on each morning.

Dress for success — and be ready to take on anything.

•And, finally, you were made to be part of a team. = Galatians 6:2, Romans 12:3-8

We’ve been created to help save the world. And we’re meant to team up with other believers in this venture.

In the film, the superheroes can’t accomplish anything until they finally set aside their petty differences, pride and self-sufficiency for a much greater purpose. They learn to rely on each other’s unique strengths and help each other overcome their weaknesses.

In one scene, Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., describes the Avengers initiative like this: “There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so that when we needed them, they could fight the battles we never could.”

So, are you in? Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime?

Or will you just sit and watch as the guys and girls in the movie have all the fun.

Avengers, assemble.

We’ve got lots of work to do.