Oh Anakin, think of all the wonderful things he could have accomplished had he not been led astray. Sure he had anger, fear and doubt but don’t we all. In 1 Corinthians 15:33 it says, “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.” Anakin had some bad company, very bad. All of Anakin’s foolish thoughts were encouraged by Palpatine, he even egged him on to get him to be what he needed him to be. What Anakin really needed and had in Obi Wan and also Padame, were people who cared enough about him to tell him the truth, even if it was hard for him to hear. He -could have- benefited more from the things he needed to hear, rather than the things he wanted to hear.
I believe we all have our own Darth Vader, everything in us that is not good, everything that goes against God’s best for our lives. Remember Galatians 5:22-23? Darth Vader isn’t exactly the “poster child” for the fruits of spirit. Anakin’s Darth Vader was after power, blind to the costs. My Darth Vader wanted control, specifically control of my family’s love and attention. Just as Palatine focused on Obi Wan as the main threat, the enemy focused on my mother-in-law. I was led to believe that she was standing in way of receiving my husband’s and daughter’s love and attention. In the same way that Anakin was led to believe that Obi Wan (and the Jedi) were standing in the way of his quest for power (and respect).
Without realizing it I was putting a wall between me and my family just as Anakin was putting a wall between himself and the Jedi. I was blessed to have good company (that I listened to) to help lift the wall, restore my relationship with my mother-in-law and save my relationship with my husband and daughter. In the end Anakin didn’t let his Darth Vader win, Palpatine said it himself that the Jedi are relentless, and thankfully so. I didn’t let my Darth Vader win and you don’t have to let yours win. We are precious sons and daughters of the one true King, take hold of that relentless spirit that will keep your Darth Vader at bay.
Anakin was better than his Darth Vader, I am better than mine and you are better than yours. Slipping down the path of darkness is something that doesn’t take a whole lot of advanced planning, its pretty easy to just start doing it. There nothing awesome about being Darth Vader, I’m reminded of a quote from Friends something Rachel says, “Yesterday I really felt like I hit rock bottom, but today its rock bottom 50 feet of crap and then me.” That is were Anakin sits when he is Darth Vader, buried under the weight of his choices. He lost everything that was important to him, his position with the Jedi, his friendship with Obi Wan, his wife, and the chance to parent his children. Whatever it seem that could be gained or fixed by listening to the enemy, its not worth it.
Who is your Darth Vader? What could he be after? Be mindful and alert for bad company truly does corrupt good character.