Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month and a half, you have heard all the hype about the latest Batman movie. Maybe you even had the opportunity to see it. Maybe you were like me and saw it twice. If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t worry I’m not going to spoil it for you. And I’m not here to give you a review or an opinion, just a simple observation.
Our society is obsessed with the concept of super heroes. For the past few months the craze has heightened with the release of “The Avengers,” “The Amazing Spiderman,” and of course “The Dark Knight Rises.” The basic plot is simple. Normal people with extraordinary talents are living average lives until an enemy arises. This enemy has formed an intricate plan to either take over or destroy the world around them. Of course, normalcy is put aside and cape and tights are donned as the heroes take off to save the world. After an hour and a half of battles of the mind and body, the hero manages to, just barely, thwart the plan of the enemy. Our hearts swell when we see our beloved hero come out on top.
But sitting in that theatre for the second time, watching the world being put back together, I noticed something. The people, the extras, emerging from their homes and peeping out their front doors. And I thought to myself, “Where have y’all been? There has been a war going on for the past hour and a half. How have y’all missed this? They could’ve used your help. Why come out now when it’s all over?”
I wanted to know what they had been doing all this time. Had they been cowering in a storm shelter for days? Had they been able to sleep or eat? Did they have children? Did they play board games or rearrange their closet while a war was raging just outside their door? Why didn’t they come out and fight? Were they physically disabled? Were they ignorant of the situation? Or were they just cowards? I could not get that image out of my head. The image of those people, timidly stepping out into the deserted, but now safe streets, looking around as if in some kind of daze.
After mulling over that image, here is the conclusion I’ve come to: I don’t want to be an extra. I don’t want to be the person that retreats back into a hole somewhere while others fight my battle. I don’t want to come out on the other side, knowing that I did nothing to win this victory.
Every day, we live in the middle of a spiritual war. Every day, we wake to another day in battle. Every day, we walk through a world full of people who are one heartbeat away from an eternity in Hell—people who are losing the battle. And every day, we have a choice.
We can sit inside the four walls of our spiritual comfort zones. Or, we get up and fight.
There is no middle ground. You either battle or you don’t.
And when the day is done and the credits roll, you can either crawl out of your storm cellar and celebrate a victory you had no part in. Or you can stand in the middle of the rubble, with dirt on your face and sweat on your brow and say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
–2 Timothy 4:7-8