I took my kids to see Iron Man this weekend, and other than some objectionable “womanizing” scenes at the very beginning, it was pretty good. There’s the whole ‘bad guy realizes the folly of his ways and turns good’ kind of message. I was surprised to the modern day references that seemed so much like they were pulled from the front page headlines. The horrors of war were, well, real. But that’s not the purpose of this blog. This blog deals with the closing line of the movie.
Spoiler alert – for those who haven’t seen the movie, I may give away the ending here!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog. At the very end of the movie, after Tony Stark has defeated the bad guy (at least we hope he has), he is about to go into a press conference. Just before he goes out, he is given an iron clad (sorry for the ‘iron’ pun) alibi as to where he was when the city witnessed this cataclysmic battle between the huge bad guy iron man and the much smaller, but far more resourceful, real Iron Man. All he has to do is stick with the story and his identity remains a secret; he can continue to do good and no one will ever know that Tony Stark and Iron Man are one in the same. Just read the cards. That’s all he has to do; read the cards. Of course, he doesn’t follow the plan. (Has Tony Stark ever done things according to plan?) In a flurry of words, Tony Stark blurts out that he is Iron Man. In fact, he inadvertently refers to himself as a super-hero in the process. That is the story of this blog.
That last scene of the movie really bothers me, probably because it hits so close to home. All I could think of as I watched was, “Shut up, you idiot, shut up!” It was as if I was watching an exaggerated version of myself. As a Christian, I know there is truly no good thing within me except Jesus. In myself, I am no different than the first Tony Stark, the one who lived for his own pleasure alone. But occasionally, I am able to see God do wonderful things through me, in spite of myself. Through His mercy and grace, He allows me to play a part in what He is doing on the earth. To be able to share His love, His mercy, His power with others who are desperate for a Savior is so amazing. Then, I am given the perfect opportunity to slip quietly into the background and just watch….problem is, there’s too much Tony Stark in me to do that. I find myself wanting to blurt out, “I am Iron Man.” I want to call attention not to God, but to myself. That part of man that wants desperately to be noticed screams out. Even though I tell myself, “Shut up, you idiot, shut up!” I continue on. And in an instant, the beauty of the moment is tainted by my own selfish ambition.
But, there is hope that this is slowly changing. Some would say wisdom comes with age. For me, I think it’s just finally starting to sink in through my thick skull. Say no more than needed, allow God to work and then quietly continue on. As Joyce Meyers says, "It's really not about me." Hopefully, I'm finally starting to learn. No, I’m not iron man. I’m just blessed enough to have been allowed to be a part of what God is doing. For a moment, I was used for something far greater than myself. That feeling is golden….and no moment of iron can compare.