Category Archives: Avengers

I am the Avenger’s: Conclusion

So, last week was an entertaining introspective, taking a look at the Avenger’s and seeing myself in all of them. However, in doing that, I noticed two things. One, all these people and there characteristics were just just that, characteristics. Disjointed facets of my life, brief glimpses into the some of the traits that make me who I am. And the very next thought was that there seemed to be missing that one thing that joined them all together, and then I realized what was missing…Coulson.

Phil Coulson.

Arguably, the First Avenger. The one that recruited the team, that brought them together, that gave them a purpose and gave them a reason to band together. Basically, the Heart behind the team.

When I look at my life, I see all those characteristics; the dutiful mindset of Captain America; the protective nature of Thor; the whimsical man-child known as Iron Man; the quiet observation of Hawkeye; the interrogative skills of Black Widow; the raw anger of the Hulk.

And there, in the center of it all is my ‘Coulson’, threading those things together. Keeping in check my anger with a sense of duty, funneling it into my protector nature, using my observational skills and information gathering abilities to try to help others, and keeping me from slipping into the my gadget laced solitude.

So basically, if I were to sum up the characteristic of Coulson, it would be Attitude.. because, a good attitude can bring all of the other characteristics into play in a positive manner, and a bad attitude just.. well, a bad attitude just doesn’t end well for anyone. Because the most powerful weapon anyone has control of is their attitude.

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I am the Avenger’s: Hulk

WARNING: 
It’s about to get real
(this one took me almost 4 days to write, and re-write, and finalize)
Anger. Rage. The unrelenting desire to destroy stuff.
Words that could be used to describe the green beast/hero known as The Hulk.
Truth is, I have a lot in common with that because…
I am angry.
Pure and simple, no beating around the bush,.
Just angry.
All the time.

The things that trigger my anger are things like when someone offends me or says something that is hurtful, I’m suppose to be the bigger person and just let it slide. Someone takes advantage of me and I’m suppose to just get over it,. Someone disrespects me and I am the one who is suppose to act like an adult. Someone fails to communicate with me or places unrealistic expectations and I’m the one who is wrong, so I am the one who has to apologize for my ‘shortcomings’? Someone makes me feel rejected and I’m suppose to just stand there and take it?

What about me? Why am I the one who has to overlook the offense?

The part that sucks about it is that I feel wrong for being angry, which actually makes me angrier, because somewhere in my head I have a thought or belief that tells me I shouldn’t allow things to get to me, or I should be better then that, or rise above the situation. 

And when I do react, respond or riposte, I am the one who is wrong because ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’…

So all I am left with is anger.

Most people who know me have no idea that on a daily basis I have this churning going on inside of me, that I have to fight my desire to react out of my anger. That I have seen what my released anger looks like and, well, I really don’t like myself afterwards because my actions, even the justifiable ones, have consequences.

So, over the last 10 or so years, I have worked very hard to maintain this emotion. I find simple things to laugh about, hence my love for the stupidest of jokes. I find people I can enjoy being around, people who are childlike in personality, who can have fun. (Oddly, its a big reason I love youth ministry, teenagers, for all their problems, are pretty real, and I can deal with real.) I play my video games to give me something to focus my aggression towards and get fully involved in (anyone who has ever played any of those games with me know how vocal I get when I do certain things. Surprise! This is why).

No, I am not always successful, and it get’s the better of me, but…

I have learned to keep my quiet, to find my center. Jesus has a lot to do with that. Prayer really does work when it comes to some of this. Helping my maintain my sense of purpose, my sense of duty, my sense of self.

But, just like Bruce Banner, I fight to keep myself in check, because I know what lies just beneath the surface..

because I can see him in the mirror
hidden behind my eyes
waiting for permission
to
SMASH.

p.s. I know someone is going to want to tell me that this anger isn’t healthy, that I shouldn’t stuff my emotions, or that I should just learn to let it go. Please, resist that urge, I don’t stuff my emotions, I do let it go, and for as healthy as not having anger is, well to that I say.. then stop pissing me off.

I’m the Avenger’s: Hawkeye and Black Widow

One is a pinpoint accurate with the bow, able to hit a moving target without even looking at it, and the other a deadly infiltrator so capable of getting information out of you that you don’t even realize you are doing it.

Hawkeye and Black Widow
An odd pair, to say the least, but an interconnected story (at least in the MMU*) as seen in the Avenger’s movie. So, I figured, why not tie them together in my blog, plus, there is that whole ‘fitting in everyone in a week’ thing too. (Besides, as someone told me today, apparently I’m having identity issues anyway, so… )
Hawkeye, a man with a dark past that has honed his skill with an archaic weapon so much so that he can hold his own with a group of super powered beings, and somehow not get lost in the background.. too much. That’s kind of how I feel on a normal basis as I compare myself to the people I am surrounded by.

Each one of them has a gift or talent that just makes me feel small or unworthy. It can definitely make me feel like I am just an extra at times. It’s hard to compare yourself to people who have skills so visual, like photography or art, or audible like music or singing. I have the written word, and as we all know.. a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s easier to see or hear something then it is to read it.. at least that is the comparison that I tend to use on myself.

And then there is Black Widow, similar dark history, but her talents are more about interrogation and subterfuge. Annoying people by finding out what they don’t want others to know. Although I don’t know much about martial arts and skin tight outfits (ok, that one shirt was just a joke, can’t we just drop it?) I do know something about finding out information. Just ask anyone of the students I have had conversations with how I know what I know and they most often will respond, “He’s Todd”.

Even though these particular talents tend to run the lines of archaic or annoying, I do try to make the best of what I have. That doesn’t always work out for the best, and I end up writing a blog that really is either stretching just to be written, feels contrite, makes me want to hit the delete button and just write something else…

Or, you know…

All of the above.

*Marvel Movie Universe

I am the Avengers’s: Iron Man

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I have a thing for gadgets and gizmos (a plenty). There is just something about a new shiny toy with bells and whistles (or bleeps and bloops) that just really makes me happy. Add to that my overconfident snarky nature, and well, you got yourself Iron Man.
Ok, so I don’t have like a gazillion dollars, a drinking problem, Jarvis, or a really cool suit of armor that flies, but I do have.. um.. hrm.. well, let me get back to you on that one.. maybe.
So.. anywho…
There are days where I just love coming home, entering into the room that has been dubbed anything from “The Office”, “NASA’s Shuttle Launch Central”, “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s New Head Quarters”, or just simply “The Command Center”, and sitting down, hearing the hum of my gadgets as they come to life, the glow of monitors reflecting off my glasses, the welcome screen inviting me to log on. It is a pretty epic room, in my opinion, and although I can not technically take over the real world, in that room I can save it, or rule it, or change it to my whim with any number of video games, or apps, or programs.
It can be quite peaceful, getting lost in the world of technology, where real people are only voices in your head that you choose to listen too, where life and death is negated to nothing more then a respawn or reloading from the last save point. Consequences are easily erased, and victories are made simple. Where achievements mark how much of your life you have invested into something. 
I guess you could say that my gadgets are my suit. Cutting me off from everyone, making them ethereal, just voices, videos or texts. Where social interaction is purely based off of my desire to reach out to you or to not ignore that call or message you just sent me. Where consequences for my actions are nullified. Where responsibility for what I say or post can be erased simply by putting a tag on it like ‘LOL’, or a smiley face, or claiming it as nothing more then a rant, or simply de-friending you. Where I can choose just to ignore those people or things that irritate me.
And the best part of all this?
The ability to turn it all off when I get annoyed by it.
So, yeah, I’m Iron Man, in my suit, protected and cut off from everything…
Except…
me.

I am the Avenger’s: Thor

Me and Thor have a lot in common. Blonde hair, full beard, good looks, able to call down lightning, wield a a big hammer, his dad is the All-Father and he has a misaligned cocky brother.
Ok, so, other then the good looks, we really don’t have a lot in common on the surface. (Yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking, we both do grow pretty epic beards, but I’m letting that one slide for the sake of humility.) But when you dig deep down into what made Thor.. well.. Thor, it was that he found a purpose in using his abilities and talents to defend people from bullies and those who would take advantage of them. Granted, those bullies were space aliens and super beings, but none the less, he is a protector.
Over the last two decades or so (that hurt a whole lot worse typing then I thought it would), I have stood in the trenches working with youth. In those years, there are times where I have actively stood in defense for them, fighting alongside them as they overcome one obstacle or another. Standing by their side, encouraging them to continue the good fight, to stay in school, to go on to college, to help them plant their feet firmly in their faith, and to become strong men and women of conviction and courage.
And then there are those times I would have to stand quietly in the background of their lives, watching them struggle with the currents situation, watching them choose to dive into bad decisions, knowing it won’t end well for them, hoping that they would figure it out before it got too bad, but always there when they needed me to be, and always ready to help fight the battle after the fall.
And there is always a battle after the fall.

The battle of self worth, guilt, shame, unsure-ness. I would step into the fray by sharing my own shortcomings and failings. How I am who I am today because of the battles I lost. I would walk with them through the process of rediscovering that they have value, that they are cared for, that they have a future. I would remind them that they serve a God who has always, will always, and still loves them.

Sometimes, the best defense you can have is knowing who (and who’s) you are.

After all, it worked for me.

Besides, when all else fails…

They say a good defense is having a better offense, and that offense for Thor was Mjolnir. Although I may not have that mighty hammer, I do have a sword, her name is Kindness, and I have a bat, his name is Sense. Because every now and then, if you can’t kill them with Kindness, you might as well beat some Sense into them.