It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you know me at all, the MCU has probably come up in conversation. This past week, I sat down and re-watched (for like the 100th time) the movies Infinity War and Endgame. These are the dramatic conclusions to the initial 3 phase run culminating the first decade of Marvel movies. While I was watching Endgame, there was a scene between Thor and his mother, Frigga. Thor was having a tough time, feeling sorry for himself and his mother said something to him that stuck out to me. Now, I have heard Rene Russo deliver this line a bunch of times, but this time, it hit me different. When I heard the quote again, it was like I heard it for the first time. the quote is this: “Everyone fails at who they are supposed to be. The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are.” I posted this recently on my social media and got far more response than I expected. So, I wanted to take a moment and explain why I think Frigga was spot with what she said to Thor and how it can most definitely apply to our lives.
“Everyone fails at who they are supposed to be…” We come with expectations don’t we? Whether those expectations were put on us by society, our family, our friends, or even ourselves, we all feel the weight of expectation sooner or later. The truth in this line is that eventually, we are going to fail at meeting those expectations. Now being someone who has struggled with perfectionism, the weight of that failure can become overwhelming. I know there are countless people out there who know this weight all too well. But you know what? That’s ok. Whether it is others or ourselves, we eventually have unrelenting standards placed on us that lead us to that failure because those standards are made to please an imperfect source. Eventually, we will fail to be what a friend expects us to be even though we gave them everything we had. Eventually, we will fail to accomplish something, even though we tried our very best. And what I have learned is, we place all of our value, all of our self-worth in that one basket- the basket of “who we are supposed to be.” Which leads me to the back half of the quote.
“The measure of a person…is how well they succeed at who they are.” (omission mine- I don’t get to fly around with a hammer, so I omitted the hero part). This is where we should be. This is where our self worth should lie. We should seek to succeed in who we are. Let me rephrase a bit, we should seek to succeed in who God made us to be. God made each and every one of us on purpose and with a purpose. He made each and every one of us according to His will and His plan. So often, we let a broken world try to tell us who we are supposed to be, instead of plugging into who the Father made us to be. Now, you may think that I am simply arguing semantics here, but let me show you the difference, at least in my mind. The difference here is how we measure success. When society tells us who we are supposed to be, it comes with an equally unrelenting set of measurements that we will eventually fall short of achieving. This leads us to doubting ourselves and if we place our value in those things, it leads to feeling worthless. However, that is not how God measures success. Through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, we don’t operate in a world of do, we operate in a world of done. So, for me at least, I want to succeed at being who I am, who He made me to be, a follower of Christ, a person who loves people, a person who shares the gospel. I want to let go of whatever the world expects me to be and cling tightly to who God says I am. That is where I want to live.
We all feel the weight of expectation. We all feel the pressure to succeed. I hope this sheds light on at least my perspective of where the shift needs to happen. I hope that this helps someone let go of trying to be someone the world wants them to be instead of being who they were created to be. Frigga was right, we should start being who we are, who God made us to be, and leave behind the unrealistic expectations this broken world places on us. We might find that our measure of success was skewed all along. We don’t need to be on the cross, that job is already done; however, we will find our worth, our identity, ourselves, instead, at the foot of the cross.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach