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DEVOTION

Star Wars™ Jesus: Jedi Counsel

By Caleb Grimes
Winepress Publishing

CBN.com - Qui-Gon advises Anakin before the pod race to “concentrate on the moment” and to “feel, don’t think.” He also tells the boy to “use your instincts.”

And some people say that not much Jedi information comes out in these prequels! Sure, we have heard this kind of thing before; with three movies down we had better have heard about them! Still, it is nice to have a fresh take on these concepts.

When it is your turn at bat, you take all that you know about hitting a ball and hope that your body and mind retain the memory of all of the practice because at that moment you are no longer thinking, you are now acting. This is how it is with performance. Anakin is about to perform in the pod race; his goal, of course, is to be faster than anyone else.

As with any goal we might undertake, the advice is the same: Learn. Study. Gain as many tools as are available to you first. Anakin had raced before, he knows about racing, and he is building his own pod racer … so he is fully familiar with the technical aspects of his specific racer and the strategic aspects of pod racing.

When it comes time to race, you take all these things and they become part of your subconscious. You act out of faith that it will all come together.

In an event, knowledge becomes experience. In that moment, it is unwise to say to yourself, “Well, I learned this from this, so if I just … .” Actions are much more immediate than that, and being in the middle of a race or a fight is not the time to begin to analyze.

Instead, you do what Qui-Gon advises Anakin to do, to “concentrate on the moment.” Do the very next thing that needs to be done, whatever that might be. This is where instinct comes in. You may have a lot of book smarts about racing, but good instincts are what proves your performance.

To some extent, faith is a performance. God assures us that we are saved for eternity, yet we have to “work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) We accept God as real, Jesus as his Son, the Holy Councilor’s presence in our lives—and this is just the start of our training. Then we must work to know him better, to become stronger, just like a Jedi.

Going through periods of intense training is good, and needed, but learning to be a Jedi is a lifelong process of practicing what you learn and believe. Having faith not only that God exists, but that he can be very involved in your life, is not just a matter of study. Having faith in God does involve study of the Bible’s credibility and considering whether the philosophy behind it is credible. However, having faith is also facing the spirits of anti-Christ that teach a wrong or bad doctrine, as so many books and churches do today. Knowing what is good about them and what is not good about them is also important.

It also entails observing the lives of the people who believe to see if they show something noteworthy, then finding out how to do these practices of faith such as praying, worshipping, and using the gifts properly so that we are more than simply another clanging cymbal. The performance of faith, then, is like letting go, like Luke Skywalker does while flying along in the trench of the Death Star.

Whatever faith issue we face, we either exercise our faith and let go, or we fight to control everything. Anakin and Qui-Gon’s approach to the race is like the life of faith, “Concentrate on the moment.”

Flannery O’Connor expressed the mystery of writing, which is very much an exercise of faith, as a process in which 2 plus 2 never equals just 4.

The mystery of the practice of faith is that you always get out much more than you ever put in. Faith is more than simple mathematics, and science is just a delving into the how and the what of our universe, not the who and the why. And you might as well forget about the where!

Faith does not always make logical sense, and the more you expect something quantifiable out of it, the farther away you get. Shmi recognized Anakin’s success in winning the pod race not in terms of the measurable—being faster than the other racers—but in terms of the deeper success. She said to him, “You have brought hope to those who have none.”

Anakin was who Jesus would have been if Jesus were merely human. He is a great kid with quasi-supernatural powers and great gifts of selflessness and concentration, who eventually becomes disillusioned with the failure of the less-than-perfect people around him and becomes blind to his own failures, even to the point where he embraces evil and ends up as Darth Vader.

Qui-Gon shares with Anakin and Shmi that, “Our meeting was not a coincidence. Nothing happens by accident.” Nothing happening by accident, though, would mean that the Star Wars™ universe is neatly and finely controlled. This hardly seems the case given the haphazard nature of the Jedi adventures. Yet, there does seem to be a kind of order in the chaos of their experiences, so Qui-Gon is making quite a point in expressing that “Our meeting was not a coincidence.”

Indeed, their ship being disabled trying to escape from Naboo and only able to reach Tatooine, then stumbling upon Anakin who happens to be a vergence in the Force is clearly two things: a plot device and a working of the Force. The fact Star Wars™ begins with the droids also in the desert on this same remote planet (entry 2), and now this, creates the idea in our minds that the Force is present and active and blessing even the lowly Nazareth-like planet of Tatooine.

It is also true that God does not always control everything precisely, as the Force does not in the Star Wars™ universe. God loves us enough to give the world its freedom, and within that freedom He is working. And then there are those things that are not his working. The way Qui-Gon rightly identifies their seemingly chance encounter as a moving of the Force is an excellent example, though, of the importance and wisdom in following God’s guidance.

Order your copy of Star Wars™ Jesus

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Related Devotions: Star Wars™ Jesus: Love Never Fails

Star Wars™ Jesus: The Jedi Concept of Time

Star Wars™ Jesus: A Lesson in Faith

Related article: Star Wars™ Jesus

This Devotion was taken from Caleb Grimes’ new book, Star Wars™ Jesus, A Spiritual Commentary on the Reality of the Force [WinePress, December 2006].

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