I Want to be a Guardian of the Galaxy 

gotgI don’t think I’ve only see a handful of movies twice in the theaters (Attack of the Clones on IMAX doesn’t count…I was young and naive). I have added Guardians of the Galaxy to my list of movies I’ve seen twice in the theaters. In all it’s awesomeness my wife and I had to see it again. Partially to catch more of the Easter eggs placed throughout the movie, partially to catch things we didn’t catch earlier, and because, well, the movies just awesome.

I want to be a Guardian of the Galaxy and I’ll tell you why.

(Warning, there be spoilers below, read at your own risk if you haven’t seen the movie)

The Guardians are losers, as per Peter Quill. That is, they’ve all lost something. Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) lost his mom, lost his possible future when you learn that he was cargo to be transported not to be adopted by the Ravagers. He lost an innocence he never had. Gamora lost her family. Her planet. And her own free will. Her whole family and planet was destroyed by the mad Titan Thanos. She was then genetically altered to serve him alone. Then there’s Rocket. He was an experiment. He lost it all. He lost his identity. He lost his own origin. Finally, there’s Drax the Destroyer. Ronan the Accuser killed Drax’s family.

I’m a loser too. I’ve lost things. I’ve had my problems. I’ve struggled with grief and pain and suffering.

When Gamora learns that Ronan the Accuser plans on destroying the whole planet of Xanadar (who just made truce with the Kree after a long bitter war), she breaks her free from Thanos’ hold on her and tries to prevent it from happening. She convinces Star-Lord, Rocket and Groot (joined by Drax the Destroyer) to protect a planet which had thrown them in jail.

Each one of these characters had a shady past (save for maybe Groot). Each had their problems and run in with the law and with others.  Rocket escaped from 22 different prisons. Drax went on a killing rampage looking for revenge for the death of his family becoming known as the destroyer. Gamora is an assassin who killed an unknown great number of people on the order of Thanos. Peter Quill (Star-Lord) is a thief, a scavenger, a seller of things on the black market (oh, and a womanizer with some woman he forgets their names of and even their presence on his ship after a nearly-getting-killed get-a-way).

I’ve messed up. I have a past that I’m not proud of. I’ve done things that I’m not proud of. I’m not always the best person (totally not perfect, have you seen me drive?). There are times where my past still haunts me.

gotg 2Each character (save for Groot) is redeemed. Each character grows, evolves, matures, and shifts into less selfish people. It starts with Gamora when she decides to leave her old life and to be willing to lay down her life to save a planet of people that she not only doesn’t know but who incarcerate her for trying to save them. Star-Lord (Peter Quill) goes against his up bringing, his training of the Ravagers, and goes against his past. He no longer is controlled by the people who once controlled him. Drax sees past his drive for revenge against Ronan the Accuser (for at least a little while) to help and aide the weak and defenseless. Rocket is willing to fight for a cause that doesn’t involve money or his own personal safety.

I am not who I used to be. I’ve grown. I’ve changed. To tell the the truth, if it wasn’t for Jesus in my life, if it wasn’t for Godly men who took time to mentor me and walk with me, if it wasn’t for a bunch of therapy, I’d still be where I used to be which is a person I never want to be again.

And finally, the Guardians of the Galaxy are willing to lay down their life for not just the planet Xanadar, but for each other. Groot, of the species Colosus Florus, is actually a tree-like creature who can grow his limbs, form flowers, luminescent pods, and create a barrier that protects his friends in a dangerous situation. He lays down his life for his friends so that they might live.

Jesus says

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

gotg 3This is what Groot does. This is what the Guardians do. I hope I can do the same. I want to do the same. I strive to do the same.

In the end, the Guardians are redeemed. They are given a new life, a clean record. They are given grace. They’re still messed up. They still have their issues. But they are renewed, redeemed, and given a new life and freedom. It is now up to them how they use it.

I want to be a Guardian of the Galaxy because they’re just awesome (and have a totally cool soundtrack too). But they are messed up people who have been redeemed and given new life.

What’s more, Groot, who laid down his life for his friends, comes back again, planted into a pot with dirt, he grows once again. New life happens in redemption.

I have been redeemed. I have had my recored cleaned and wiped away. Now I live each day striving to live up to this grace I have been shown. I live each day choosing to follow Jesus.

Do you want your recored clean? Do you want to be a Guardian of the Galaxy too? Come to Jesus to have your record wiped clean. Come to him to be changed, renewed, made new, and given a chance to live a life worthy of what he has called you to do–lay down your life for others, serving him.

Hope I can do that.

(oh, and here’s baby Groot dancing to Jackson 5)

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