Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Incredibles

One of my family’s favorite films is “The Incredibles.” We love the characters (Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible, Helen Parr/Elastigirl, Violet and Dash) with their unique powers and personalities, as well as how each one grows in his or her respective gifts. Each was born incredible and each has to grow into it.

If you’ve seen it, you recall that early on in the movie the Incredibles were really struggling because, under pressure, they had chosen to live unlike they actually were. No lifting cars, no running through walls, no stretching an arm twenty feet to catch a cat falling out of a tree, and no rescuing people in distress. They were so different than everyone else, but, feeling the pressure of that uniqueness, they attempted to fit in and blend in and to find happiness and fulfillment in the act. They believed they could do it.

No chance.

They grew terribly bored and frustrated since they were stifling themselves, choosing to live a lie. Mom and dad, brother and sister fought among themselves at home, yet kept up their false appearance (“We’re doing fine!”) before everyone else. They could make that choice only so long.

Strong and persistent inner urgings in keeping with their supernatural identity urged them to live in the truth of who they were, no matter the consequences. When they finally threw off the lie of pretending, they grew and started doing incredible things…and they grew happy through the consequences.

I suppose I am not the first to liken you to one of The Incredibles. But perhaps it’s time to take another look at who you are so you can live as you are.

Right now God thinks pretty highly of you. Because you believed in Jesus, and because He included you in His crucifixion and resurrection (Romans 6), God dealt with the former you (crucified) and birthed the new you, a true son of His, righteous and holy, blameless and anointed, gifted and graced, as alien in this world as Jesus Himself, recognized throughout the heavens. (John 17:16) As Jesus lived in this world, so do you, in close relationship with God with whom you’ve become intimately compatible. You’re the best. You’re incredible.

But what if being incredible is a hassle? Or what if for some reason you become disillusioned regarding your incredibleness, and sort of let it go by the way side? What if most everyone around you isn’t like you, so you start becoming like them? Wouldn’t it be tempting to just do as well as you can amongst everyone else, and kind of leave all that super-human stuff at home? Let it out on the weekend? You could be okay, couldn’t you?

No chance. Bored, frustrated and stifled, you’d wear out trying to resist those strong and persistent inner urgings.

If, like everyone at one time or another in the family of Incredibles, you’ve become bored and frustrated, having allowed yourself to be cloaked in the mediocrity of this world in order to fit in, it’s time to grow. And happiness comes through growing in who you are – your birth cannot be ignored!

As it was in the film, I suspect it will be with you. Events will conspire to bring out the real, incredible you; God will see to it. You will be needed, someone will cry out, a situation will demand the real you, and you won’t be able to act in keeping with this world any longer.

Those around you will see an Incredible, and the glory of God will be evident in you.

More and more you’ll begin to feel and satisfy those true inner urgings, and, in keeping with who you are, you’ll do incredible things. You’ll know God, you’ll believe God and you’ll follow Him into His glory. After all, it’s not your fault that God has made you what you are – an incredible.

You really are better off than you think.


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