“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30)”
Fear always accompanies first attempts. New adventures introduce so many unanswered questions, unknown variables, and untried abilities. All key triggers for uncertainty. Because we have never done it, whatever it is, gnawing feelings of doubt are a perfectly human experience.
In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the Batman assembles a team of metahuman champions to take on a rising tide of super-villains. An ancient entity named Steppenwolf is leading an army of Parademons in a hunt for three Mother Boxes. Fused together, these boxes form a weapon powerful enough to destroy the planet. Humanity needs a hero, or a team of heros.
The film’s world of hightech heroics and cgi villainary is humanized when high school student Barry Allen is invited to join the league. Initially, Allen (aka Flash) is super-excited to be in a super-hero league. It is always more exciting to “be” than it is to “do”. And when it comes time to do what superheros do (i.e. save people), the Flash finds himself paralyzed with uncertainty.
Preparing to take on the evil Steppenwolf, the Flash tries to explain his emotional struggle to Batman;
“Here’s the thing. See, I’m afraid of bugs, and guns, and obnoxiously tall people. I can’t be here! It’s really cool you guys seem ready to do battle and stuff, but I’ve never done battle. I’ve just pushed some people and run away!”
Batman brings clarity to fear with two simple words: “Save one.”
Batman: Save one.
The Flash: What?
Batman: Save one person.
The Flash: Which one?
Batman: Don’t talk. Don’t fight. Get in. Get one out.
The Flash: And then?
Batman: You’ll know.
Big tasks are commonly accompanied with big doubts. And no task is bigger than that which is assigned to the follower of Jesus. “As you go,” Jesus tells his followers, “make disciples of all people” (Matthew 28:19). Making disciples is a formidable goal, and “all people” is a tall order. Our task is global in focus and eternal in effect. When we consider our call, it is enough to swallow us in feelings of doubt and insufficiency.
But the good news is, we aren’t called to reach the world by ourselves, and we aren’t called to reach it all at once. All that is required of each of us is one, small, simple act of obedience. In the face of fear and uncertainty, take that first step, save one.
The founder of our faith meticulously handcrafted his followers one-by-one.
With any significantly large project, our minds are rarely capable of envisioning all the various steps involved. The objective must be broken down into smaller, bite-sized, portions. When it comes to our call to make disciples of all people, that means one lost, broken, hurting soul at a time. “Save one!” And after you reach just one person with the Gospel, just like the Flash, “You’ll know.”
Chances are, you aren’t called to change the world, just the life of one person at a time. Who’s that person for you right now? Get in! Get one out! Save one!
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