There has been awakening. Have you felt it? There is a stirring in every fangirl and fanboy. Something is about to change. I completely expect that our minds will be blown in ten short months when the screens explode with the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. The change will be something impossible to guess at this moment. It will be a surprise that makes us examine our own presuppositions – if only for the movie, but maybe even for our personal lives. We will be challenged to grow from the experience, after this excruciatingly long wait.
When this post comes out, the majority of the Christian world will be entering the season of Great Lent. I am one of those weirdos that enjoys Lent. It is an exciting time because everything changes. If you have been living through the blistering cold of this winter, you are probably looking for something to change. In this season, at least in my tradition, our diet drastically changes and there are a lot more services to attend – as well as a call to become more engaged in almsgiving and selfless acts. It is a time to center around what is truly, deeply, important in our lives. It is a time when we reclaim our sovereignty over our own will and body. It is not the food that drives me, but getting in touch with my spiritual side.
The world offers us something completely different. It asks us to indulge to excess and set our selfish desires as the core of our being. Now, for a few weeks at least, we fight the good fight against the deadly seductions of the world.
It is easy to be seduced by many things. Sometimes seduction can come from things that are simply neutral or good. When the Jedi became too secure in their power, the process of maintaining that power became the object of their veneration. While Qui-Gon was learning about the Living Force, his selfless life and communion with the mystical was disconcerting to the old guard of the Jedi Order. So, the Force is theoretically neutral. Neither good nor bad. And they came to worship the good side, the Light Side – to their own detriment. By the time of Order 66 they were not fully in step with the Force since they had made it over in their own image.
When we give a person, object or idea the utmost value and worship it, we give it absolute control over our lives. When we worship ourselves or the next American Idol, they become our gods and drive us to their ultimate inherent end. Cancellation. If I were to worship myself, as my amazing wife says, I would be 400 pounds, covered in Dorito dust, suffering from Nintendo thumb and living in my mother’s basement. Since my mom lives in a second floor condo, I have to reevaluate this option. My god would be quite grotesque.
Consider this exchange from the Phantom Menace:
Yoda: Blind we are, if creation of this clone army we could not see.
Mace Windu: I think it is time we inform the senate that our ability to use the force has diminished.
Yoda: Only a Dark Lord of the Sith knows of our weakness. If informed the senate is, multiply our adversaries will.
Why has their ability to use the force diminished? It is indeed true that the Sith were working hard to diminish the capacities of the Jedi. Plagueis and Sidious worked to make this so. But the Jedi themselves gave the opening. All of the accusations by Sidious are true – they are arrogant and blind to what does not fit into their own tiny box. In a large galaxy, you can’t afford to stay inside small boxes for very long.
The evil ones took advantage of this chink in the armor, the one scale on the underbelly of the dragon, and exploited it. This is where we see the warning to our own spiritual lives. See the Sith as the demonic realm that is cunning and continually on the offensive. When we turn our attention from the good and the beautiful, and instead worship objects of our own understanding and creation, we are making an idol in our own image. To be clear, this is not good. I wanted to make sure you knew where I was going with all of this. If we meditate on and contemplate God in all of His glory, there is an unfathomable depth. But when we place a hedge around Him and make His box smaller, we are only kidding ourselves. It is in that moment that the demonic realm have their opportunity. They exploit our weakness or blindness. If, as the Gospel says, Christ is standing at the door knocking, and waiting to be welcomed into the home of our hearts, the opposite is true of the evil ones. They look for any window with a slight crack, a blemish in the foundation and then stream in to make a formerly good heart their own home.
In this season, whether you are participating in the Lenten fast or not, take a look at what is most important in your life and discern whether it is leading to true personal growth or materialistic degradation. Don’t get me wrong, if Hasbro ever gets its act together and puts decent figures on the shelf, I will be the first person there. But it won’t control me. If Star Wars becomes an idol, I hope I have the strength to choose life over slavery to my selfish desires. There is life in choosing selflessness. As one of the iterations of the Jedi Code says, “Jedi serve others, rather than rule over them, for the good of the galaxy. Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.”
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Please leave comments on this and all my posts – I really look forward to it. You can find me on Twitter at @adelphotheos and email at jamesw@CoffeeWithKenobi.com, occasionally at TheForceandFaith.blogspot.com as long as I am not listening to the latest edition of the Coffee With Kenobi podcast!Powered by Sidelines