Are you a man who is generous, kind, a thinker, a fighter or a sleeper?
Are you the type of man who thrives on courage and bravery, do you run towards risk and uncertainty? Or do you stand back and calculate the risks, take time to make a move and then when you do, it’s a definitive one? Are you loyal? Are you a wildman or barbarian looking for a war? Are you the journeyman, aiding others on their path? Who are you?
I grew up on the pop culture of Marvel and DC, cartoons of masked heroes battling with not only their nemeses but often their own mask and a process of discovering their identity and their purpose.
So often in the superheroes franchise we see tormented heroes, wrestling with their gift, power, identity and purpose. The Hulk has been known to punch and body slam his friends from time to time. Iron Man, behind a veneer of self-reliance and strength, is an outlaw space monkey in need of some validation for his identity. Batman; a renegade, misunderstood by people and perhaps he misunderstood those around him too, and at times hurt the people who he wanted to help. Captain America, driven by justice and loyalty needed a body that matched his heart. What we can see is that even our superheroes seem to be asking themselves, who am I? What am I about and where do I fit?
This plan was first shaped to help men’s groups meet virtually via video conferencing technology. It has subsequently been updated as a personal devotional and reflection study.
So, let’s get started. Days 1-3 focus on discovering the truth about our courage, our wounded lives and ways we can let the brakes off and be a bit more undignified.
Nathan Blackaby CEO Christian Vision for Men
Sure, he has adopted some cool stuff from that hideously infected spider bite, but two critical things are missing. Imagine if he had grown fangs that dripped with a deadly poison and his body was covered in thick black tarantula hair… Sure it would be unsightly and perhaps not the poster boy Spiderman Hollywood was going for, but I think it would have been way more interesting. Anyway.
Spiderman is shown to us as courageous, strong and fun. He is a bit wild and a lad, he jokes about and has a way with ladies. However, Spiderman is wounded by stuff in his past. The comics tell more and try to reveal the truth but in the films, we see Peter being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. A few times Peter vents his hurt and it’s clear the family wound is still very much part of his life. So, we have this masked hero; on one hand he’s Peter Parker, adopted by his aunty and uncle, a bit awkward, ducking and diving his way through school trying to just get by without being beaten up too much. Then, mask on, we have Spiderman, courageous, wounded and sometimes undignified. Let’s explore those things.
If you haven’t been bitten by a radioactive spider, and don’t therefore possess Spider-man’s incredible web-slinging skills, you might need to know at least a few of these knots to get you through life:
Do you agree with this list?
Do you thrive on moments in your life that require courage from you?
Can you think of any moments you needed to act with courage?
How did it feel?
A long time ago in history there was a brutal battle going on, a nation of people were under attack and hard pressed by their enemy nearby. Fear had spread through the people and everyone was so afraid they hid; even the champion called to fight and lead a comeback was scared, his name was Gideon. Gideon was hiding, but through an amazing sequence of events, Gideon steps up to the plate and in the end leads a band of 300 warriors into battle. Against all his better emotions, logic and anxiety, he found some faith and trust, and stepped up with incredible courage. There was a turning point in his life, in his head and heart that refused to roll over and die. He wasn’t by nature a warrior, he wasn’t looking for the fight, but when he got the right motivation and support, he charged at it with great courage.
What does the battleground around you look like? What do you need courage for right now? Where will you go for this courage?
Pray for courage and the strength to do and say the right thing when the time is right.
Reflect on these words from 2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.