Because the Sacred has gifted us all that we have in our life, we must use our gifts, abilities, and skills responsibly in this world. It is our responsibility, as stewards, to create positive change that brings the experience of compassion, peace and justice.
Avengers: Civil War
Tony Stark is seeking additional help for his side of the Avengers disagreement. He has seen videos of a spider-boy doing amazing things on YouTube. Tony visits Peter Parker...
In Peter’s room:
Stark: Why are you doing this? I got to know what’s your M.O.? What gets you out of that twin bed in the morning?
Peter: Because I’ve been me my whole life, and I’ve had these powers for six months. I read books. I build computers. Yeah, I would love to play football, but I couldn’t then, so I shouldn’t now.
Stark: Sure, because you’re different.
Peter: Exactly. But I can’t tell anybody that, so I’m not. When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.
Stark: So you wanna look out for the little guy, you wanna do your part? Make the world a better place, all that, right?
Peter: Yeah, just looking out for the little guy. That’s what it is.
Stark decides to bring Spiderman on, temporarily, as an Avenger, changing Peter’s life. Spiderman: Homecoming begins after Peter’s experience in Avengers: Civil War concludes.
Stewardship invites us to use our skills and abilities responsibly
Peter Parker, for being so young, has a very mature understanding of his super-powers. He recognizes that “with great power comes great responsibility” (to quote Uncle Ben, Peter Parker’s uncle, from the Tobey Maguire spiderman series, 2002).
Peter has all these powers that have suddenly appeared in his life. He is different than he was 6 months ago. He could have easily shown off and used his powers to create wealth, instead of (as Tony Stark put it) being a dumpster diver to acquire the beat-up old electronics he currently had.
But, as he tells Mr Stark, it would not be right to use these powers to show off for personal gain — “I would love to play football, but I couldn’t then, so I shouldn’t now.” Something inside Peter knows that these are gifts given to him to create change, to help others, to do good.
So, he uses his powers to help others — to be the friendly neighborhood Spiderman. This is Spirit’s invitation to us — to use our abilities to help others.
Even in Spiderman: Homecoming, after he saves his classmates in the Washington Monument and is the talk of the school as Spiderman, Peter keeps his identity secret. Ned, Peter’s best friend, asks Peter in the school hall…
Ned: What is it like being famous when nobody knows it is you?
Peter: Crazy dude.
Ned: Crazy. Should we tell everyone its you?
Ned: Can I tell everyone?
Peter: No, dude. That is not a good idea….
If Peter Parker had told he was Spiderman and used his power for his own personal gain, he would have lost his soul. This is the concept that Tobey Maguire’s 2007 Spiderman 3 was exploring. Self-aggrandizement serves nobody but you. It brings no change, only heart-break, loss, greed, corruption, hatred, divisiveness, and more negative consequences.
President Carter vs President Trump: How we use our abilities...
It is the difference between President Jimmy Carter (humble servant-leadership) and President Trump (self-aggrandizing narcism).
President Jimmy Carter has used his life, his gifts, his abilities to transform the world. He has created a powerful legacy. He is the President who cared more for the lives of the hostages than his re-election campaign. We know him as the past President who still, at the age of 93, continues building houses for Habitat for Humanity. We know him as a person of faith, who stands in integrity and authenticity, working to create justice and peace in all that he does.
President Trump. We know him as the President who thrives off of bullying, especially through Twitter; who makes governing decisions that serves his own interest, cutting programs aimed at helping those in need. We know him as a disrespectful womanizer and belittler. His gift so far to this country is that of divisiveness and hate.
Spirit’s invitation is to use our spiritual gifts and abilities to create positive change! All that the Sacred has blessed us with in our life is at our discretion to use to help others, to transform the world, to create justice, to grow compassion, to invite peace and harmony.
This is God’s call, for each and everyone of us: to use our skills and abilities humbly in service to the Sacred. This is how the Sacred creates transformation in the world — through us, through our willingness to work toward justice and offer compassion.
How will you use your gifts and abilities responsibly?
What does that look like in your life?
What changes do you need to make to be a better steward of the Sacred’s gifts to you?
Where are you engaging this world to create justice and compassion?