My kids and their friends recently purchased tickets so they could see the latest Avengers movie on opening weekend. They were not alone as it turned out to be the biggest opening ever for a movie. The effect was worldwide as people of all ages lined up to watch their "Heroes" combat evil. The admiration for heroes (both imagined and real) stems from a timeless desire we all have to attain the qualities they possess and fight the evil which confronts us all. The real question is how do we awaken the hero inside all of us.
As a coach, I am called to push young men and women to reach deeper inside themselves to become better athletes, team players and leaders. The same qualities which the Avengers posses is what I am trying to bring out in my athletes. Confidence, integrity, perseverance, strength, fortitude, etc are all characteristics which we admire in our heroes and all of these reside in us. Each day we should be aspiring to be our own hero as we implement these characteristics in our own lives.
The actor, Matthew McConaughey, was once asked by one of his mentors at age 15 who was his hero. He replied that it was himself in 10 years. The mentor asked him again at 25 the same question and he said himself at 35. What McConaughey understood is the act of being a hero is always pushing yourself to do better because it is an unattainable goal. He realized the best person to be is to be a better person in the future than you were in the past. By seeking to be a better friend, a better co-worker, a better teammate, a better version of ourselves we are striving to release the Hero in us.
In Matthew 1:23 it is written, "“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us)." And Paul writes, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16. God has placed himself in each of us to guide our inner hero. If we tap into His resources we can elevate our game and better ourselves each day so as to be the hero in ten years we are not today. "Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4. Jesus is the greatest gift we have been given to overcome evil in this world and we are remiss if we don't turn to him daily and hourly to help us fight the enemy.
Arise each day and seek to bring our the hero in yourself more than you seek to admire those same characteristics in others. These same traits will bring you success in athletics. They will make you someone others strive to emulate, rally around and fight for wins over losses. Trade in Thor's hammer for reading the Word and Captain's shield for listening to the Holy Spirit and let these tools guide you to become the hero you were called to be.