"We create our own demons." - Tony Stark, Iron Man 3
For me, the summer movie season officially opened this weekend with the release of Iron Man 3. A blockbuster with action, explosions, humor, and all the things we guys expect from our summer movies.
This one was a good start. It was fun, fast-paced (although in my opinion the climactic action scene ran a little longer than it should have), tense, and had an interesting storyline. And yes, it even made me think a little.
The line quoted at the top of the page was from the opening narration. It refers directly to one night in 1999 when Stark (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) made a couple of choices that led directly to the mayhem that takes place over the following two hours. Both of them, depicted in the opening scene, were dismissive of others and obviously festered over the next 14 years. It refers more indirectly to the heroic choice Stark made in New York (and thus is intertwined with last summer's The Avengers) that saved the world but left him with anxiety issues.
I believe we all can identify with Stark's dilemma. How many times have I mistreated someone, either by being dismissive, short, angry, or condescending? Sometimes even with good intentions. Those choices affect relationships, shape people's lives, and have consequences. Granted, for you and me the consequences are unlikely to affect the fate of the whole world. But they affect our world...and they affect the worlds of those around us.
Yes, there is a devil and there are demons - Jesus said so. But there are also "demons" in the figurative sense that can be just as destructive. So when they come back to haunt me, I don't think I should be quite so quick to blame forces beyond my control. Like Stark, I should look in the mirror and see what I have done to create them.
And then face them.
And that's where the redemptive love of the Father through Jesus the Messiah comes in. He forgives and showers us with mercy. He will not remove all the consequences for us, but he will give us the power to face them and bring us through. And help us to stop creating them.
There was a lot of power available to Iron Man in his fight to put the genie back in the bottle. Gadgets, suits, technology. There is even more power available to us. And so our demons do not have a chance.
And oh...a tip. If you go to see Iron Man 3 (and I recommend that you do), don't leave before the credits are done like 2/3 of the people did tonight. Good grief people, have you never seen a Marvel Comics movie before?? Nope, you don't want to miss the last scene - "See, I have told you." (Matthew 28:7)