The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24
“Why do we fall Bruce?” That was the central focus on the Movie Batman Begins. I know this is a much older superhero movie that I am blogging on; but I had the
opportunity to watch it again and pick up some very spiritual ideas imbedded within the storyline. That question is asked by Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father after he had been rescued from falling in a deep well and experienced a nightmarish attack from a bunch of bats. It’s interesting to ask that question to ourselves, why do we fall? We fall because way back at the beginning of time, Adam made a decision and man has been falling ever since. We fall down physically, we fall spiritually, and we fall in life. Failure is always a part of our life. Sadly, many people dwell on their failures and don’t learn from them. The great thing about the Dark Knight series is the character of Bruce Wayne, and how he has to overcome the obstacles of the fall.
What are some obstacles of the fall that cause us to focus our attention on the past and not move forward? The biggest obstacle we face is our very own person, our mind. Bruce had to get past his fear of bats and become what he feared the most. He wanted to pass on that fear to the evil that was a part of Gotham. He found faith in himself and realized that he could do something amazing. We have it better than Bruce does. We have our great and awesome God that doesn’t allow us to fall for very long if we look to Him for strength. The key to defeating the enemy of the mind is to focus our faith on our God who is waiting for us to look to Him. The only power we have in our lives is the power of choice. Making the right choices and putting our faith in a great God will move us past our enemy of the mind.
The next obstacle to our getting past our failure is people. Certain relationships we are involved in can be destructive to our pushing past and getting ourselves back on the path God wants us on. Bruce had to deal with a mentor that was bent on destroying a whole city to bring justice. The justice he was showing was out of control and he wanted to do undue harm to innocent people. Bruce looked up to him, but also knew his justice was better, his idea was to deal out punishment, not death. I think it’s an interesting paradox that Bruce choose such a dark icon to do something very life-giving. Sometimes people we look up to can be an impediment to getting past our past.
A final obstacle is our heart. Sometimes life has dealt us so many bad cards that we just don’t have our heart in life anymore. We tend to stay in a depressed state and don’t want to work our way out of the situation we find ourselves in. Bruce got over his fear of the mind, but would not have gotten any further if he hadn’t gotten past his heart as well. He could have been vengeful for the guy that killed his father, he almost was. I think he found out that self-control at the right time can help you make better choices and to allow yourself to have a good heart. A good heart is half way to godliness the Psalmist I believe is talking about here. A good heart gets you beyond how you feel about yourself and allows you to see yourself the way God sees you. Bruce exhibited a good heart by fighting crime in a justifying way without having to resort to killing his enemy. That’s the difference between a superhero and a vigilante. A superhero has a good heart for others and serves others in trying to save them from danger and themselves. A vigilante just kills for vengeance in using his own messed up sense of justice. Bruce in not killing his enemy showed them a type of forgiveness; he was willing to let them live even though they were doing something very wrong. I think the best way to get past depression is to serve others in a kind and generous way and not dwell on your failures. You will find significance in serving others and move away from your pain into healing.
Thomas Wayne answers the question he asked Bruce. The answer is so that we learn to pick ourselves back up. Bruce may fall, but he always found a way to pick himself back up. We can one up Bruce, we have God’s favor in our court if we are obedient and are focusing our attention on the path God has for us. When we do that God delights in us, we are godly and we may stumble, but we won’t fall. There is no such thing as failure as long as we keep going and pick ourselves back up. The way we learn to pick ourselves back up is to reach for God’s hand and His favor will set us back on the right track. When we move past our mind, bad relationships and our heart and don’t give up, because giving up is how we truly fail and stay down when we have stumbled and fallen.
[David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.