Wednesdays in the World - 300 Reasons to Give Up

It's been a few weeks since I've chimed in here, so please forgive me. I've had a bit of business to take care of...

Speaking of experiences that get your heart going, have you seen this movie 300? From what I hear (and I'll admit that my movie going days are not what they used to be, so I'm basing this entirely off of what senior high school guys are saying until I can get out to see it) this is pretty much the greatest thing to happen to movies since they started moving. Admittedly, it's not going to win an oscar for best writing or picture (although you never know.... I'm looking at you, Jamie Foxx...) but it apparently "makes Gladiator look like a figure-skating tryout."

Now, I'm not going to get into whether violence in movies is good or whether the movie is a plot by the US to stir up anti-Iranian sentiment (Iran=modern day Persia, Ancient Persia=the "bad guys" in the movie). I'm not even going to get into whether or not high school guys should go see a movie that basically consists of one impressive fight scene. All I can say from my exposure here is this: People who have seen the movie come out of the theater hyped up beyond comprehension. If they handed out swords instead of popcorn, there would be no curtains left in your house. (or whole fruit for that matter). For some reason, this movie inspires.

Now, there are different kind of "inspires". Silence of the Lambs left me inspired.... to lock my doors and turn on all the lights. But here I'm talking about the "get off your hiney and yell something loud and rip a phone book in half and run through a plate glass window and then conquer some ancient civilization.

Why? What do you mean why? It's a movie about 300 soldiers defending their land against a MILLION (historical accuracy aside) Persians! 300 vs. 1,000,000! Seriously? Who wouldn't get excited about that! That's like 3,333.33 pps (persians per spartan). There's something there folks, that when faced with unbelievable odds, makes us just want to stand up and fight. It's the colonies vs. England. It's US Hockey vs. the USSR in the 80 Olympics. It's Braveheart vs. England (boy, is there a trend vs. Britain here?) It's Daniel LaRusso vs. Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kai boys. It's the mighty ducks vs. those rich kids. It's Macaulay Culkin vs. those robbers in Home Alone. It's.... well you get the point. It's [insert underdog] vs. [overwhelming odds].

Why does victory against overwhelming odds get me so excited? I mean, why does my heart race at the thought of that? I think it comes from God. I think He built that into every man. I think it strikes that bone that is tuned to the victory and glory of the Lord. Something inside us longs for glorious victory. And every day, I sit in my office and wonder how I'll be able to live like that. To run headlong into an army of persians and not care about death.

Here's what I realized. 1.) I'm no spartan. I don't even really like fighting. Giving up is easier. 2.) God always wins. (just read the Bible, any part) 3.) If I'm on God's team, then I win without having to do all the fighting.

See, I find myself stirred by victory. I find myself unable to be victorious. I find God not only able to win, but unable to be defeated. I want to be on God's team. He has superior warfare techniques, the "flying V", spikey christmas ornaments all over the floor, the "crane kick", etc.

So I'm thinking about that this week. And I'm thinking that maybe I shouldn't keep trying so hard to be a hero. And I'm thinking that maybe I should depend more on the One who Can. And maybe then I'll get to live one of those stories that makes Braveheart seem like tap dance class.