Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Volstagg Thanksgiving

I'm not sure why, but every year around Thanksgiving I think of the hearty and glutenous hero, Volstagg.

Well, perhaps that is the very reason in itself. Volstagg depicts at least two of the well-known modern-day stereotypes for our American holiday (having a hearty time and a glutenous appetite). This Asgardian is the only hero that I can think of who would dedicate a whole day to the joy of eating.

But, both Volstagg and Thanksgiving are much more than what they appear.

Behind the happy-go-lucky appearance of the god above lies the "Lion of Asgard." When he is not happily stuffing his face with delicious edibles he is one of the fiercest warriors that Asgard has ever known. In his first appearance, he causes quite a commotion before he even gets to a panel. Thor calls him "Volstagg the enormous! Volstagg, the blustering, boasting giant of a warrior!"

His first words are, "Have at you, puny scoundrels! Stand aside for Volstagg! By my sword, there shall be many a flattened head this day!!" Although, his favorite weapon may apparently be a (beer) mug, he fights with the heart of a warrior and the body of a giant.

While Asgard had been under siege, Volstagg remained trapped on Earth (Siege: Embedded). And, he rose to the challenge.

Yes, he is riding a goblin glider.

Still, to this day we tend to see him mainly as a comic relief character. But, we must not mistake his "appetite for apathy." Instead, we should learn this lesson:

Volstagg: A fire giant is best dealt with by chopping off its head.

Driver: Is that a fact?

Volstagg: Its heart lies in its head, and from the heart comes fire. | It is the same with men.

Driver: You might need a refresher course on human physiology.

Volstagg: No, not the physical location of the heart... but the fire. The fire in you comes from your heart. The fire that carries you into battle is the fire that makes you a warrior!

This lesson also is about apathy. The heart of the man makes the man. Where his heart lies his mind, body, and soul will be also. And, if his heart is not in the battle he cannot win. Yet, if he is fully involved he will be able to take on his opponent with an unimaginable fire.

At the original Thanksgiving, the Americans weren't concerned with stuffing their faces to the brim and expounding their stomachs. They weren't concerned with taking a nap to be sure to be up early the next day to buy presents. They weren't about to forget all of the things that they had become extremely grateful for. Instead, they gave their hearts to God and gave Him thanks.

With half-empty stomachs and freezing fingers, the Pilgrims and the Natives were both grateful for all that they had been given. God had blessed them and they thanked Him.

Although, this idea may seem a bit late for the season, I wish to charge you with being like the first Americans. Do not become apathetic, moving through the seasons stage by stage, not caring for much, not caring for friends, not caring for family, not caring for God. Instead, by thankful. Do not only be thankful only on the day that has passed (Thanksgiving). But, continue to give thanks even through these selfish and materialistic days that we have run into. Be less concerned with objects and more concerned with each other. Give in to the season of thanks (for both the harvest and for Christ[mas]). Give your heart to others not only when it is the season, but continue to do so every day in between and through-out the whole year.

And, "in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Like Paul and the pilgrims, we can learn to "rejoice" even though we are brought low. We can give thanks although we face "plenty and hunger," "abundance and need." Philippians 4.

We may be as merry and joyous like Volstagg. While, we remember to retain heart. And, we care, loving one another. For, where we love is where our hearts may be found.

Why do we do this?

"We love because he first loved us." John 4:19.

How can we do this?

"The love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us." John 4:9-12.

We fail to give our whole hearts into anything besides ourselves (even in this splendid season). But, we are able to try. We are able to follow God's lead and care for others. And, the only way we may succeed is with His help as His Spirit fuels the fire of our hearts.

Retain the heart of a warrior in faith, love, and courage.

This has been part of the Gods Among Us Series

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