So I just saw Wonder Woman this week and it completely lived up to my hopes for a summer action flick! As I was sitting in the theater watching with my son and sharing the popcorn and soda, I heard lesson after lesson inside the story of Diana Prince that I could apply to my life. Maybe you can, too.
Lesson One: The courage of one person can be enough to muster bravery and boldness in others.
The best scene in the movie, the one that takes my breath away and makes me (and many others) misty-eyed in this DC Comics/Warner Bros movie, is called “No Man’s Land.” Diana and her team of four men find themselves in Belgium at the end of WWI and they are in the trenches making their way toward saving millions of people from dying.
(Of course they are, Friends. It is a DC Superhero Comic.)
Steve Trevor explains the stretch of land between Allied and German forces is called “No Man’s Land” and that neither side had taken an inch of ground in more than a year. He tells her the divide is impossible to cross and that they need to go the long way around to get to the target. There really is no formal plan; they have to just get to the target. If they delay much longer, they won’t make it; time is short. They need to press onward quickly. He tells her “This is not the mission, Diana.”
But it becomes HER mission.
See, Diana is inspired by a story of a Flemish civilian woman, one who is truly powerless to change the tide of the battle. As she holds her baby, she tells Diana about the plight of the town caught in the crossfire on the other side of No Man’s Land. And Diana, in all her goodness and prior Amazon training, takes up the mantle for this woman and the village, and tells Steve Trevor she is going across the battle lines.
She shakes out her hair and throws off her black cape into the mud and muck, revealing her weapons, superhero strength and identity.
(Insert super-cool special effects, fan-blown hair and filming.)
She begins running toward the German army, epicly deflecting bullets with her bracelets, holding off the enemy as she braces against her shield, and changing the tide of the battle completely. Together, once they finally follow her, the team breaches the gap and gains victory and freedom for the little village.
This is where she becomes Wonder Woman.
It becomes her defining moment as she stands up (actually, superhumanly jumps up) onto the battlefield to do what she needs to do to save others who cannot save themselves.
Why do I love this scene? Why have so many people written about it?
It resounds within our souls.
It reminds me of Jesus.
Things were hopeless here on Planet Earth for the human race. Enslaved in a fallen world, death upon us from every angle, Jesus arrives, announced by angels (surely a better soundtrack than even Rupert Gregson-Williams’ and Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Production team of composers!).
He is from God. He lived in a place of perfection, a paradise–heaven. He came down and was super-human. He exhibits His power and helps others; He is moved by people’s stories. He cares about the stories of mankind.
Jesus crossed No Man’s Land when He conquered death by the Cross and took the keys out of the hands of death and Hades. We had no way to go across the divide to heaven without Him. He liberated and rescued us from enemy forces. We were in the crossfire of the enemy and could not save ourselves; He had to do it for us.
Jesus pressed onward and upward and committed His spirit into the hands of God from the Cross. His Father raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of His throne in heaven. He lives in power and glory and will come again and again to rescue us when we call out to Him.
Lesson Two: Sometimes our defining moment is when things seem too hard and hold others back, but we choose to press onward and upward and commit to the calling.
What does it take to inspire us to action?
One Word: Courage.
Courage enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear, or fainting of heart. In Hebrew, it is chazaq, to show oneself strong. The Greek word for it is θαρσέω, or tharseo, and for the believer, showing this unflinching, bold courage means living out the inner confidence (inner bolstering) that is Spirit-produced.
Cowardice and Complacency are the opposite of Courage.
Now, I’m not talking about running in blindly without preparation. That would be silly! What I mean is that you have been prepped in advance, you are equipped with training and research, and have calculated the odds and the cost. You have the direction, strength and enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Maybe, like Diana, you have seen a tiny display of potential God-given gifts and it was powerful. Maybe it was in yourself. Or maybe it was in others. Maybe you are realizing we all are MADE for More?
What does it take for us to step into the roles we were meant to have for the Kingdom of God? It is hard to be the pioneer and step up into God’s work and our future.
Will you be the First to faith? The First to break the chain of dysfunction? The First to conquer fears? The First to advocate? The First to battle?
It may be on the landscape of No Man’s Land where no progress has been made for ages and many others have died trying. It could be at your school or your workplace, in your community or your nation, with your family, marriage or your children, or on the playground or on the playing field. But it takes COURAGE.
Will you be the FIRST?
Lesson Three: All it takes is one person to stand up and face what seems to be the impossible. And then what was thought to be impossible for all becomes possible for many.
Martin Luther. William Wilburforce. Susan B. Anthony. Thomas Jefferson. Abraham Lincoln. Corrie ten Boom. Martin Luther King Jr. Mother Theresa.
These are examples of people who stood up against all odds. They stood up for what was right in the eyes of God. They were willing to sacrifice everything once they caught His vision and accepted His calling for them. They helped move the Church and the world. They changed people’s minds and, in doing so, changed the hearts of men and nations, turning them to God.
Will you be the One?
Is there a place in your life where you need to move onto the battlefield or be a pioneer, the First? Or are you being called to be the One? What ARE you being called to right now?
Seek God in His Word. Seek wise counsel and pray, letting the Spirit lead you.
I am praying for all of you Wonder Women and Supermen out there to rise up and be a force of change! To change what seems to be the impossible either in your own life or in the lives of others around you!