Friday, August 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy: Chosen Losers

"Say hello to my little friend!"
You gotta love a movie that has Bradley Cooper voicing a talking, gun-toting over-sized raccoon with a chip on his shoulder.

And you gotta cry when said raccoon gets so drunk he slobbers out his pain at being a genetically created Freak, cast into life without any decent hope of love or friendship, absolutely alienated from birth from the rest of humanity and her near-cousins, be they red, green, blue or magenta skinned.

He's a raccoon, and he's unique.

"Ain't nothin' like me, 'cept ME!" he boasts, as he marches into a galactic prison filled with killers.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a great movie, comparable to a great meal, where the appetizer was delicious, the salad was fresh, the steak and lobster were cooked to perfection and as you cry no more, a triple-decker chocolate cake with coffee icing is set before you with real whipped cream on top.

That's what watching Guardians was like. They could have stopped layering goodness on us 90 minutes into the movie and we'd have been happy. They don't. They just keep going and going.

That unexpected richness echoed the very characters: they are almost two-dimensional at first, and then we find out something honest about them that makes us choke up in recognition. They start off attacking each other and by the end, they won't let another soul touch their fellow Guardians. Classic character growth trope, I know, but when done right... well, you remember my analogy about a well-cooked steak, right?

Peter Quill - a.k.a. Star Lord - sums up the reason that they need each other, in a howlingly bad attempt at sensitivity that is par for the course for him:
"I look around and I see losers.[stunned looks from fellow Guardians]
Folks who have lost stuff. [a beat] Life generally takes more than it gives."
That's what makes this movie heroic and comedic at the same time: facing the ugly truth and not letting it stop you from being better - even great.

Quill also makes a little speech at how "the Universe" has given them a second chance. "Something good, something bad... a little bit of both." It is a non-heroic, non-judgmental call to be better.

It's a speech given to a murderer, an assassin, two thieves and a not-too-bright giant.

The outcasts, the misfits. Chosen from above, they don't fit in, but they are right for the job. These "Chosen Losers" end up being the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Like Israel was, when God called them to be His people. He wanted them to be His family, His friend. He chose them, but NOT because they were cool or great. Just the opposite in fact.

Read this from Deuteronomy 7:7, 8:
7 “The Lord did not set His heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations!
8 "Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and He was keeping the oath He had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt."

God chose slaves out of Egypt for the same dramatic reasons we love to watch represented in Guardians of the Galaxy.

They were the weakest. The outcasts. The unwanted. God chose them to love them, to make them great.

So watch the self-pity if you feel that you are a loser who does not fit in with the galaxy.

God just may have chosen you to guard part of it. Even if you feel as dumb as a tree or are generally accepted about as well as a large rat, you have something to do. Something just for YOU to do.

Something good, something bad...maybe a little bit of both. It happens like that.

Just make sure that you seek to serve the God of the galaxy who died for you.

He chose you, after all.


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