Growing up, I was a comic book fanatic. When we took family vacations to visit my mother’s family in Buffalo, NY, Mom would take me down to the comic book stand near the Broadway Market, and she’d rack up (comics were pretty inexpensive back then). Of course, she’d buy her Archie comics, but she also read Daredevil, Fantastic Four, and Jonah Hex. I read all Marvel stuff: Captain America, Thor (Mom liked him, too), The Avengers, The Defenders, Iron Man, Power Man, Iron Fist, X-Men, and more. It wasn’t unusual for Mom to splurge and spend $50-$75 on comics (only on vacation!)
So, going to see The Avengers was a no-brainer to me. The Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America flicks went over well… and I knew from watching the trailer that this movie would be a hit… but I underestimated the impact, at least on me. There were several things about the movie that stood out: the all-star cast of characters (including Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury), the fight scenes, all the fascinating, technological weaponry… but there were a couple of lessons I learned… which could easily be overlooked amidst all the bright lights and action… and one was the theme of TEAMWORK.
Yup. That’s right… teamwork.
This amazing group of superheroes, before they pulled together and fought smart, was getting the stuffing kicked out of them! The enemy’s (Loki… Thor’s adopted brother) strategy was simple: divide and conquer… but when the group decided to fight like a group, they became a formidable band of brothers (and a sister). Individually, the task was beyond even their superhuman abilities… but together, they were able to conquer the odds and defeat the enemy.
Another important aspect of the movie was perseverance. Without perseverance… even with such a great team assembled… the odds could’ve seemed insurmountable. They were outmanned and outgunned… yet they never gave up. They kept fighting until they could taste victory. They kept pressing until the threat of the enemy was no more. They kept moving forward until the foe was defeated… retreating was not an option!
How we face seemingly insurmountable odds says a lot about us. How we persist in the face of possible defeat tells a lot about who we are deep down inside. God says that we’re more than conquerors through Him (Romans 8:37)… but it’s easier sometimes to believe the lie of the enemy that we don’t stand a chance. Man… how many times have I given up because I believed all hope was lost, instead of fighting, persisting, and pressing through until victory was realized!! Sometimes, it was easier to throw my hands up in the air, because I felt alone. That’s why a TEAM is needed… a group of people with the same values, the same desire for victory, and much of the same cause at stake. Many of us don’t make it simply because we stay isolated, and don’t invite others to fight alongside of us!
Any strategy devoid of these is a strategy doomed to fail.
Seeing The Avengers helped me this weekend. I realize that there are some things I cannot do on my own… I need the support, encouragement, and strength of others to fight beside me… and to help me persist in the battle… for my kids, for my calling…
…for my LIFE.