Becoming Caption America
I can't tell you the last time I've been to a movie theater…and…well…I still don't remember! High priced tickets and food as well as our new found love of Netflix has kept us in the comfort of our own home for our "in-house and inexpensive" dates as married couple with three kids. However, when we saw the previews for Captain America, my husband and brother, both avid comic book hero fans, said we couldn't forgoe the opportunity to see this film on the big screen! After some convincing, I relented and as it turned out, I left the movie feeling awestruck and inspired and not just entertained.
As the movie began, the character portrayed as the lead role is anything but the typically depicted "superhero" of today- athletic, popular, and full of charm. After four or five failed attempts at enlisting in the U.S. military, this young man is forced to watch his friends prepare for war, while his heart burns with passion to fight for the country he so loves. After one final attempt to enlist, he is finally recruited for bootcamp due to the help of a certain observant scientist.
Bootcamp proves to be too strong a match when it comes to physical strength for this young man, but when tested for intelligence and integrity he passes with flying colors. The scientist takes him aside and shares the great plan he has for turning him into "Captain America". The boy's response? "Why me?" The scientist explains that it is his humility and passion to serve others that afforded him this opportunity.
This scenario reminded me of Christ's example, as a servant leader. Not that I compare Jesus Christ and Captain America as equals, Christ is beyond comparison, but their example of humble service, not bound by selfish pursuit, is what made them great leaders, capable of handling the responsibilities given to them.
Phillipians 2:5-11 reads: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name , that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
There are countless verses in the Bible that warn us about the dangers of a prideful heart and I believe one of the greatest challenges we face, living in the United States, is that our blessings and overabundance make it easy for us to become self-dependent. In many ways, our county as a whole, is losing its' independance because of our increase in imports, but on a individual level we can go anywhere and get what we need, when we want it, 24/7. The American Dream has mislead us into thinking that we control our destiny, and while diligent work is admirable and does bring reward, the question we need to ask ourselves is: "Am I working each day in servitude to my Maker or am I only living to gratify my own desires and accomplishments?" If I am living to please myself or to please others, my life is being lived in vain. However, if I live to love and please Christ, His Glory is revealed through me and then I am living one with Him and my self has not squelched His Light from exuding from my day-to-day life. As I have personally experienced, any pursuit of instant gratification with money, relationships, and even with my relationship with Christ, propels us farther and farther away from having a spirit of contentment. Furthermore, how many opportunities have I missed out on, serving the Lord, because my heart was not right with Him?
We've all seen the self-destruction that comes when the evil villians don't use their powers as they were intended, and the same is true for us, when we allow our pride, envy, and greed to take precidence in our own lives. The scientist knew this young man could handle the powers given to him responsibly, and "Captain America" stayed true to his humble origins to the end.
I pray that when God looks down for a regimen to complete a task, that He would find Christian soldiers ready, passionnate, and humble enough to carry out His task for His Glory. Jesus was the perfect example of a servant leader. Whether you lead on a corporate level, for a church or other Christian ministry, or whether God has you leading your family, we can all look to Christ as our example: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8