Time, again, for that good advice from Elastigirl, the “super” from the film, “The Incredibles.” In this fast-paced animated feature movie, Bob and Helen Parr are retired superheroes trying to have a normal life blending their family into the suburbs, when they get sucked back into their superhero stint of saving the world. (Once a superhero, always a superhero. Good thing to remember right there about our calling to walk at all times in the power of the Spirit. You don’t get time off. Paul told Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season” [2 Timothy 4:2].)
The children have untested powers they have inherited from their parents that they will need to draw upon in the current crisis. In a moment of truth, Helen (Elastigirl) has to leave two of her children to fend for themselves while she goes off to rescue her husband, Bob (“Mr. Incredible”). It’s her speech to the children that gets my attention whenever I see this entertaining movie, one of our family favorites.
Up until this moment, Helen has been discouraging her kids from playing around with their latent powers so that they won’t stick out among the other kids in the neighborhood. In their physical competitions at school, they have to constantly hold back — even lose on purpose now and then, in order to live a “normal” life. This time, she has to reverse that rule.
“But things are different now,” she says to her daughter as she prepares to leave her and her younger brother, Dash, in enemy territory, “and doubt is a luxury we can’t afford anymore, Sweetie. You have more power than you realize. Don’t think, and don’t worry. If the time comes, you’ll know what to do. It’s in your blood.”
Actually, this sounds strikingly similar to the way Jesus prepared his disciples to go out into the world without him. We are in a scary situation every day as we prepare to enter the marketplace of ideas and powers beyond our human capacity to control. Our tendency is to run away from the world for our own protection, but God sends us into it because we are carriers of his Good News to all who need it. And as followers of Christ, we have more power than we realize. Don’t think too much, or in other words, don’t psyche yourself out by over-thinking and analyzing everything. Step into the situation because you already have what it takes; it will come to you when you need it. And remember… “It’s in your blood,” because the Holy Spirit is within you giving you what you need, when you need it. Doubt is simply a luxury we can’t afford anymore.
“On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:18-20)