“To conquer fear, you must become fear” -Liam Neeson
This quote appears in the 2005 film “Batman Begins”. I think this statement is fascinating for the notion of personifying what one fears. After witnessing his parents’ death as well as other injustices in the world, Bruce Wayne dons a mask and cape, armed with high-tech weapons, in becoming “The Dark Knight” to defend the corruption running rampant in Gotham City. In his quest to protect it from the notorious Scarecrow and the League of Shadows, he also protects his childhood friend, Rachel Dawes. While watching the movie, I noticed a theme: fear. Actor Liam Neesom’s character Merely Ducard (who is revealed to be Ras Al Ghul, later in the movie) stated the above quote to Bruce Wayne during his training. Merely guided Bruce toward conquering his bat fear by teaching him how to confront them. This led me to reflect on my own fears. What do I fear the most? I ask myself. Though I won’t assume an alternate identity as Bruce Wayne had as Batman, I must identify my fears to understand them and what I can do to overcome them.
“Men fear most what they cannot see.”-Liam Neeson
A pivotal scene in the third installation of the Batman trilogy “The Dark Knight Rises” occurs with the first duel between Batman and Bane. As Batman struggles to overcome Bane, Bane speaks about Bruce’s betrayal of the League of Shadows, fulfilling Ra’s Al Ghaul’s death, and his upbringing. This quote is, especially, significant:
“Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!”
Evidently, Bane and Batman represent two polar opposites: Bane, darkness; Batman, light (though he uses the darkness to conceal himself in fighting criminals). The quote captivates me for the message it conveys, in addition to revealing how the villain’s darkness exposure made him who he is and why.
Being born into darkness is a potent statement for it relates to Christians and nonbelievers. Christians are, supposedly, living in the light; nonbelievers, darkness. 2 Corinthians 6:14 asserts, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? The notion of living “in the light” or “in the darkness” is an intriguing topic to discuss. Before we became Christians, we were “in the dark”, spiritually, and when we decided to forsake our sins to become God’s children, we see the light as we commune with God. This results in gaining a new perspective. Another relevant Scripture is found in 1 John 1:5 :”God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.”
Perhaps, my lack of self-confidence in understanding content is my greastest fear for I avoid reading books, magazines, and the like that contain topics which I possess little or no knowledge; for example, politics. This self-confidence issue plays a part in my problem solving skills as I find myself consulting aid before beginning to figure out the solution, namely from my parents. The fear of not understanding something hinders me from pursuing a better understanding on a particular topic or, when I do investigate, I doubt myself which prompts me to ask for help. If I felt more self-confident, pushing myself in understanding a subject, I bet I can use that knowledge for a specific purpose.
Reading the Bible in getting to know God’s character is a great example to illustrate. I feel inadequate in my study because I feel like God is not listening to my prayers, I’m incapable of applying his scriptural passages in my life, and deepening my relationship with God and His Son is met with frustration and stagnation. The third problem stems from my uncertainity of whether I truly want to carry an intimate relationship with Him because worldly concerns fill my mind, namely participating in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. This is something which I have yet to experience (I’ll talk about my ideal mate and relationship in another blog post).
Carryinng out God’s will is an area which fear entraps me for I’m unsure what God’s will for my life is and when I do know what it is, if I’m capable of executing it. A prime example: The Great Commission. When God instructed his disciples to make other disciples of all nations as he does in Matthew, I fail at doing this for fear no one will listen and cast me off. I remember a man named Horace Lambert introduced me to a passage that reassured me God spoke through me. Found in Matthew 11:19-20, “God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking-it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” I thought this verse was amazing as it informed me that God is, indeed, using me as a conduit to communicate to others. If only I enacted what he told me to do I would reap the benefits of my God’s instructions.
Another reassuring Scripture I know is found in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Where exactly does fear originate? God doesn’t give it to us as the verse states, but Satan implants doubt within us in convincing we are inadequate, incompentent, or incapable of doing God’s will. This is exaclty what he did in Genesis with Eve and the forbidden fruit.
“Batman Begins” did an excellent job in conveying how one individual used his greatest fear to incite fear in criminals.
I want to leave the following quote for you to consider: “Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinately rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.”-Charles Stanley