Ok, it’s hypothetical question time. If you could have one thing from a favorite movie, what would it be? In the age of inventive science fiction imagery, it’s difficult to narrow down the choice to one really cool thing. Seriously, how do you choose between a time-traveling flying car, a flying armored suit that deploys from a brief-case, or dare I suggest a spaceship? I can sense your brain cramp already. While I empathize with your dilemma, I have long known what my decision would be. I would choose to have a light-saber!
Yes, I am one of those…a Star Wars geek. I prefer, however, the designation, “enthusiast.” The semantics of my fanaticism aside, let’s dive into the analysis of my favorite fictional characters of all time, the Jedi Warrior. How cool are those guys? They are guardians of the galaxy. The Jedi live to defend and protect the Republic. They are selfless and noble. They can use the Force, and best of all, they wield those awesome light-sabers like space bound samurai warrior-flying-ninja-kung-fu-fighting-shaolin monks! In the words of Syndrome from the Incredibles, “I’m still geeking out about it!”
Is there a constructive point to my fan-boy ramblings about fictional space-crusaders with energy swords? Yes, and it is this. We can be Jedi Warriors, and more than that, we should be Jedi Warriors. Yep, it just happened. You decided I’m nuts. But here is where I play my ‘Jedi-Mind-Trick’ on you. J.E.D.I. – JESUS, EVERY, DAY, INSIDE (of me). Wait, what just happened? “I don’t want to sell you death sticks. I want to go home and re-think my life.” (Just go ask a Star Wars guy. He’ll explain it)
So, for argument’s sake, let’s see what we can learn from the habits of the Jedi.
The Jedi pray often, and do so in some very difficult circumstances. “I never heard a Jedi praying,” you say? Then you weren’t paying enough attention. How many times did scenes in the movies turn to the Jedi Temple, where Yoda or Master Windu sat quietly praying? “They weren’t praying, they were meditating.” What is meditation then? I suggest to you that meditation is prayer, and prayer is meditation. But, without boring ourselves in a discussion on the etymology of the word “meditation,” let’s consider what the Jedi’s ‘prayers’ produced.
Yoda supernaturally drew knowledge of events from distances of millions of miles. In other words, Yoda’s prayers, and his sensitivity to the Force, gave him great wisdom and knowledge from a source outside of himself. How many of us would benefit from wisdom and knowledge from an outside source, greater than ourselves? Anyone know where to find such a source?
The Jedi also communicated in their prayers. Remember when Luke called Leia for help as he hung upside down from an antenna beneath Cloud City? Luke was completely out of options. He was missing an arm. He was exhausted from fighting Darth Vader. He hung perilously from an antenna at a dizzying height in the clouds, and he possessed no means of calling for help. Except that is, for prayer. Have you ever found yourself in one of those kinds of positions? Did you think it was an arbitrary accident? Have you ever considered that God backs us into those corners sometimes to seize our attention and draw us closer to Him?
One of my favorite moments of “Jedi prayer” is the fight scene between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Darth Maul. Darth Maul was a bad dude. That double-sided light-saber, with all his flipping and spinning around, all while sporting a surly look on his face, made him pretty intimidating. In spite of all of that, when Qui-Gon was forced into a pause in his epic fight with the sith, what did he do? He prayed. He knelt down, in the face of probably the greatest opponent in his life, and prayed to renew his strength, and refresh his mind. Now the outcome of that fight notwithstanding, I want to be like Qui-Gon. I want to have the presence of mind to stop in my moments of greatest need, and seek the peace of the Lord and be renewed by His strength. Psalm 31:3, “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead me and guide me.” I could draw upon further examples, but I believe I have sufficiently made the case that the Jedi prayed with regularity, and they benefitted greatly from that prayer.
Another virtue of the Jedi that I admire is their relationship with and use of the Force. To be able to draw strength and power from an invisible energy around us, to use it to influence the world for good, and to receive help in fighting and defeating our enemies! Wait a minute…why does that sound familiar?
The Jedi are remarkably spiritual. They submit themselves to a greater cause and purpose, they serve sacrificially, and they seek at all times to draw closer to the power that, “Surrounds us, and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” Is that not a fantastic metaphor for the Holy Spirit? We not seek at all times to be in the closest possible intimacy and harmony with the source of all life in the universe.
I encourage you to experience the same sensation that I had some time back. When you have time to be quiet and still (dare I say meditate?), close your eyes and pray to God. Ask Him to be close to you, to show you His power. Picture the Holy Spirit flowing through you, poised and ready to use you to do powerful things for His will and glory. I can’t warranty the results of asking things of the Lord (His will is sovereign), but I believe that in time, whether sooner or later, you will come upon this sensation, the feeling that all the power in the universe is tingling right at your very finger tips. Psalm 144:1 says, “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Just like Yoda lifting the X-Wing out of the swamp, but infinitely greater, God is ever waiting to demonstrate His glory and might in our lives.
To be continued …