History is full of them. As far back as tales could be told, mankind has always shared stories of valor, of great feats, of extraordinary accomplishments. Legends of heroes and heroines decorate mosaics, friezes, pottery, and tomb walls. Even our own Scriptures mention people who became known as “men of renown”. This desire to tell such tales matches and many times throughout history, meets a deep-seated need from the populace to have someone to look up to, someone to use as a role model for their children, and someone to aspire to.
Occasionally, men and women rose up in their generation and engaged in causes so much bigger than themselves as to become living legends among their own people in their own time. Joan of Arc, King David, Alexander the Great, Mother Theresa, just to name a very few.
But whether they actually lived among us, or whether we made up stories about fictional characters, these heroes would often take on such legendary status as to become what we now call “Super Heroes” able to jump tall buildings in a single bound, take down the enemy hoards with just one man, and stand up for “Truth and Justice and the American Way”, or whatever the particular cause was at the time.
The Greeks made up extensive stories to showcase their beloved gods and goddesses as they sought to explain how the world came to be as they knew it. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Norse, Japanese, and other ethnic groups did the same. Time went on and North American and other Western writers, artists, and story tellers got in on the act. There were villains, good guys, impossible odds, desperate circumstances and the fabled damsel in distress needing to be rescued by her knight in shining armour.
One could justifiably wonder why, in a world where science and technology have seemingly provided us with “all the answers”, why even today’s generations still find themselves enamoured with legendary figures and “super heroes”. Even today, the need to look to someone stronger, better, more daring and bolder than themselves still drives the public to clamour for tales of good conquering evil. If only for a moment in time, if only in one’s own imagination fueled by a wordsmith or visual story played out on-screen, that moment gives hope for a future that does not seem to exist outside. It is a small chance to indulge in vanquishing all that is wrong with the world and for once, to feel on top of it all as life crumbles around us.
Today’s generation will look to anyone willing to tell the story, whether it is pulled from modern imaginations or from those of ancient history. They don’t care, all they want is the story, that moment of satisfaction described above. Today’s story tellers have latched onto this need and the one movie to start the 2017 summer box office season has been none other than Wonder Woman herself. Initially drawn in cartoon form as the All-American cowgirl standing up for truth and justice and the American Way, at times fighting side by side with Superman himself, Wonder Woman was drawn with cowboy boots, an electrified lasso, a tank top and shorts painted in the colours of the American Flag, and a forehead tiara. But that was the early days. She stayed in this Wild West of sorts until Warner Bro’s decided it was time to tell the rest of the story in this year’s live-action movie, Wonder Woman.
Initial reviews were mixed to begin with. PluggedIn.com’s review suggested that a few scenes might be uncomfortable for sensitive eyes and ears to take in. They claimed these were of a sexual nature only, and due to this kind of review, I was hesitant to bother with seeing this particular movie. Now I must say that it’s no easy feat to get me out to the movies in the first place. My own standards are so high that most movies don’t make the cut to even get me to read a review about them, let alone walk in the door to buy a ticket and sit down to watch. So when I shared Pluggedin.com’s review with my two young adult children, they assured me they wanted to see the movie. My son had two free movie tickets, so attending would only mean buying one more ticket so we could attend as a family. Well, off we went.
The “problem scenes” as it turns out, were only a problem if the viewer naturally tended toward a dirty mind. The characters comprise an abstinent pilot and an Amazon who has never seen men outside of textbooks. The banter then is one of innocent awkwardness rather than knowing, winking advances. This was a relief to see. The parts I had problems with related more to my own over-active imagination forcing me to hide my eyes from two chemical warfare scenes than anything else in the entire movie. What do those have to do with the movie? Well, you’ll have to go watch it to find out.
The movie presents an alternative narrative involving the Greek gods and goddesses and presents us with what could be termed a “coming of age” for a young adult who does not yet know she herself is also among that particular pantheon. Our heroine is thrust into World War I, having been protected most of her young life by the Queen of the Amazons who had raised her from a clay infant inbreathed by Zeus himself. This origin of Wonder Woman was new to me, as I don’t remember it in the comics. If it was there, I missed it, because as a young girl, Wonder Woman was my super hero for a little while. The chance to see my childhood super hero on-screen helped drive my son to recommend we go to the movie theatre.
Our heroine stumbles through the middle section of the movie discovering slowly but surely, that the outfit bequeathed to her upon discovering “the god killer” (go watch to find out what this is) could stop bullets and that her lasso was good for getting the truth out of people. However it is as she is battling the god of war himself, that she finally discovers her true self. She has to figure out her identity and then take full action within it all while fighting for the very life of humanity itself. What amazed me about the entire story, is that for the first time in modern retelling of early Western-style super heroes, DC Comics and Warner Bro’s stayed true to what Wonder Woman stood for and allowed her to stand for truth and justice from the start to the end of this movie! They deserve to be commended for this after all the super heroe twisting that’s gone on in the movies over the past several years.
The retelling of the Wonder Woman super hero story comes at a time when once again, it seems that on so many levels, our world is falling apart. Governments are doing strange things to their people. Big pharma is showing more concern with making money than with preventing or treating illness and disease. Money moguls are pulling strings that are causing mayhem in areas of restlessness and under-employment. Religions that used to bill themselves as peaceful are suddenly at others’ throats. Who will come to our rescue? Who will set things straight again? For a moment in time, movie-goers once again could escape into a world where one woman stepped up to the plate and made things right, discovering herself in the process.
It has been observed that today’s millennial generation is in the throes of discovering itself. Many readily admit they don’t know who they are. They don’t know what their place is, what their role is supposed to be, and as a result they hide in their technology, even questioning the god of science that their parents and grandparents’ generations and so painstakingly built. Today’s millennials are looking for that legend to rise up among them, someone who will take on the evils of their day and win, someone who will blaze a new path that leads to the age-old dream of peace and prosperity with meaning and clarity to tell them who they are and what their purpose is.
It is no mistake then, that Wonder Woman is cast as a young one coming of age. It is no mistake that she finds herself muddling through a confusing crowd around her, and it is quite astute of the script writers to have her discovering just who she is under incredible pressure and temptation to run any which way but where she should and must go! True to form however, she sees through the temptation and goes where she must, to the relief of one character the viewer would otherwise assume was quite worthy of being done in. Again, you’ll have to go watch if you want to learn who this is.
What does talking about super heroes have to do with a writer of Christian Spiritual Growth/Personal Growth? God Himself is calling to those of the millennial generation who will answer. He is calling them out to do spiritual warfare for the world they find themselves in. He is reaching out to them, encouraging them to discover themselves and their callings within that place offered by the Holy Spirit’s power. God is greater than any false god the world may conjure up to tell their stories around. God is more powerful than any villain the enemy may dream up to destroy this generation. This power comes to the one who repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ into their lives, vowing to live for Him, seeking the Holy Spirit’s help in taking up the challenge to live a holy, godly life in a perverse and darkening world.
When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, we do not become gods by any stretch of the imagination. Scripture says all the gods of the earth are idols. Only in their stories can they see, hear and act. Outside of those stories they are at best, empty and lifeless. However, at their worst, they are demons hiding behind alluring facades that only pretend to care about their vassals but will do away with them as soon as their usefulness is used up. No, we are not gods. We are humans made a little lower than the angels, humans Christ died for because He loved us that much. It is His power working in and through us that changes the world around us.
In order for His power to change not only us but the world we live in, we need to be fully surrendered to Him! The millennial generation is looking for those Christian men and women who will be so surrendered to God’s Will and Ways that they will make marked and lasting impressions on those they meet, situations they encounter, and change their corner of the world forever! It may very well be that there are young men and women who have indeed accepted Christ into their lives, but they do not yet know who they are or why they are here. Their calling has not yet been made manifest. Pray for these young men and women. Pray that the Holy Spirit will awaken their calling in their hearts and minds. Pray that they will done the armour crafted just for them according to Ephesians 6, armour that became available to them upon discovering Christ as their Saviour.
Canada is celebrating 150 years of Confederation this year (2017), and a small band of 40+ prayer warriors assembled at Warrior Lookout in Kelowna to engage in prophetic re-enactments and to re-affirm Christ’s Lordship over this land. A few Millennials were on hand for this event as their role in upcoming skirmishes was to be affirmed and prayed into. One young Millennial has already been used in God’s army in the local area for some time, and she agreed to take part in a re-enactment. The lighting as pictures were taken, the backdrop and other elements all came together to present her image as a symbol of the spiritual warrior God is looking for here in Canada and across the Western world! With her permission, I created this meme and invite my readers to share it with their Millennials as encouragement to pick up their Sword of the Spirit and be willing to step out into battle for their generation.
Also in celebration of Canada’s 150th, I have created this shield. The original image is of the front of a candle bucket purchased from a local store. The Cross of Christ became apparent in the white lines of Canada’s official celebratory maple leaf. I snapped the photo and enhanced the Cross. May this shield be wielded by all who desire to pray for restoration, reconciliation, repentance, and renewed vision for this sprawling country.
“Take up the mighty shield of faith for the battle must be one. We know that Jesus Christ is risen, so the work’s already done! Praise the Lord. He works through those who praise Him, praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise. Praise the Lord, for the chains that seem to bind you, serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you, when you praise Him. ”