If you haven’t read it, there’s a discussion of the movie here which delves into some of the characters and their overall journeys, comparing them to the journeys many of us take on the road to faith. I had a couple quick thoughts though that didn’t really fit within that discussion…
- Leia told Han to go and get their son Ben (aka Kylo Ren) and bring him back (not only to their home, but more importantly, to the light). Han replied, “If Luke couldn’t reach him, how could I? Luke is a Jedi!” Who hasn’t felt that at some point or another? That there is a task and someone’s asking you to do, but you feel ill equipped…especially when you consider the people ahead of you who have tried and failed. People whom you think are more qualified than you. Leia responded, “Luke is a Jedi. You’re his father. There’s still light in Him. I know it.” It didn’t matter how powerful Luke was as a Jedi, Han still had something Luke didn’t—He was Ben’s father. And as such, it was his job to bring back his son. Not only was it his job, his responsibility, but it was something only he could do—as Ben’s father, he was uniquely positioned in Ben’s life to have a profound influence. Of course, it didn’t look as if he was successful, but the story isn’t finished yet and I suspect his role was pivotal. The thing is, I wonder about my life… What are the things that I see in my world that need to be done? The things I need to do, but feel are too big for me, too impossible? Am I maybe missing the obvious? Maybe others have tried and failed, but maybe I have something they don’t. Maybe I’m uniquely gifted or positioned to be successful where others have failed. Maybe it’s something God is asking me to do, or at least try to do. Sometimes it’s not about who else has tried before me; sometimes it’s simply a matter of what needs to be done. And, if I try and it doesn’t seem that I have succeeded, maybe I need to remember that my story isn’t finished, either. There is still more to come.
- Han Solo throws out some crazy plan and Rey asks, “Is that even possible?” He smirks out his reply, “I never ask that question until after I’ve done it.” It’s his kind of snarky way, but maybe there is some wisdom in what he says. If he spent his life asking if things were possible, he’d never have tried or accomplished half of what he’d done. He was really teaching Rey about faith. I understand there can be some stupidity in this, too, but I’m not talking about jumping off a sky scraper and hoping you can fly. In this scenario, if we compare it to our Christian lives, we are Rey in the story and Han is the Lord. When He tells us the plan, we are tempted to ask Him, “Is that possible?” But that question is a moot question when God is involved. The thing is, all things are possible with God… So when God throws out some crazy plan, our best response is to say OK and not ask if it’s possible or not until after. If it was possible, then we have the benefit of accomplishment; if it wasn’t possible, then we have the benefit of a miracle. Either way, we win!
- As I watched as Rey was tortured by Kylo Ren, I was again struck by the parallels to our spiritual lives. Kylo Ren appeared to be stronger than her, and he had the advantage and the momentum. She was captured. He was torturing her. And she was fighting back with all she had, but it wasn’t nearly enough. But then, something shifted. She got quiet. She quit fighting and resisting and simply stilled her body and her mind. It was as if she was praying for strength. In a sense she was—she was accessing the Force, communicating with the Force—and she came back with incredible power, far more power than she could have had on her own, and she defeated Kylo Ren. There is a battle going on around us, and the temptation is to fight it in our own strength, but our strength isn’t enough. We need more. We need help. That’s why God gave us the Helper, the Holy Spirit. Not only that, but He gave us knowledge of Him and His promises by which we have “everything that we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3-5). Just like Rey, our battle isn’t a physical one, it’s a battle with the forces of good and evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12) and the only way to fight that battle is to do so with spiritual strength that comes from God. So, when we find ourselves in a place where we are trapped and being beaten by the enemy, rather than powering through in our own strength, we need to take a little lesson from Rey and quiet ourselves, pray, reconnect with the Lord and ask for His strength and His resources to fight the battle. When you do, don’t be surprised to find that you come back to the fight with an unexplainable power and the enemy flees for his life.