What sets the X-Men apart from a lot of other superheroes is their origin story.
Unlike many other comic book characters, the X-Men are born with their powers.
There are no spider bites, no dramatic deaths of family members, no gamma radiation.
The X-Men are mutants. Their superpowers are part of who they are and always have been.
With that, each mutant has a choice to make when they discover their power: will they use it for good or for evil?
Charles Xavier (a.k.a. Professor X) leads the mutants who want to use their powers for good. Meanwhile Magneto recruits those who want to use their power to gain more power.
This pull between the proper use of powers is at the heart of every X-Men movie including the latest, Days Of Future Past.
Days Of Future Past asks the question: Does one person’s stumble down the dark path define them forever?
In the movie, Professor X and Magneto come together in a bleak future and find the only way to save humanity is to stop the war on mutants from ever happening. To do this they join forces to send Wolverine back in time to warn their younger selves.
Like many time travel movies, it’s fun to watch as long as you don’t think too hard about the implications of all the time travel going on. And at the heart there’s a pretty deep question to consider.
After all, each person’s life – be they mutant or mortal – faces moments of darkness and defeat. There are times in our stories when on our path to doing the right thing we stumble. We become less of the hero and more of the villain.
The burden of doing the right thing becomes too heavy to bear. Like the young Xavier in the film we reject the power we were born with that could change the world.
Yet the days of failure in the past do not have to define our future – even without the aid of time travel.
A failure in life, no matter how large, does not change who we are. It does not change who God made us to be.
Each of us is capable of doing great harm based on the choices we make. And each of us is capable of being a hero by using the unique power God created us with to help others in need.
Just because your’ve stumbled doesn’t mean you can’t recover. Just because you turned your back doesn’t mean you can’t turn back around again.
Every story has moments of doubt. What makes a character a hero is the willingness to return to who you were made to be.
“Just because someone stumbles doesn’t mean they’ve lost their way.” – Professor Charles Xavier