Endgame & the Moral Arc of the Universe (No Spoilers)
ARTIN Luther King Jr., said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I was reminded of that quote as I drove to the movie theater with my twins to watch the Avenger’s Endgame. Here’s why. (No spoilers)
It’s hard to consider a narrative moral arc that cannot be quickly resolved within a thirty minute program, a two hour movie, or a binge watching session on Netflix. We’re not accustomed to waiting. That’s part of our problem. The philosopher Pascal explained it this way:
“When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.”
The Avenger’s Endgame is the culmination of a long narrative arc, a moral arc, that bends towards justice. For some of us, the producers got us to the finale with a bit of trick. There were clues along the way to which the Black Panther, Spiderman, Ironman, Captain Marvel, Hulk, Thor, and others, were pointing. But it is easy enough to content ourselves in the individual stories as ends unto themselves—not a piece of something bigger for which we might have to wait many years to better understand.
Endgame reminds us that the best stories take a really long time. After watching the credits that follow the film, I’m also reminded that good stories involve a lot of people who get very little credit, save a shout out in the midst of mass recognitions.
As Christians we are in a similar, though far more serious, position. We can see each day, each opportunity, each challenge, as an end unto itself, as the main show if you will. We need to remember that we are playing a role in a far longer, far better, story, a true story, that precedes and outlives everything else.
So, don’t grow weary in well doing. The small bit you have to do today is one piece of a massive and mysterious puzzle that in time will display God’s glory. King was right, the moral arc of the universe is long. It is really long. But it indeed bends towards justice. Until that day, be faithful.