Significant Calling

While Anakin Skywalker is not the “poster child” for good decision making, he does give us plenty of mistakes from which we can learn. As has been discussed he was impatient and prideful, yet talented beyond measure, and blessed with an incredible gift with which he was to benefit many, many people. But he stumbled and as we know he fell from grace. The one pulling Anakin’s strings and encouraging his slow fade into the dark side of the force was Palpatine who was to become the evil Emperor. There are many things that were said to Anakin during the time that he was working on him but a few statements rise up above the rest. During the conversation in Episode III when Anakin discovers who Palpatine really is, he tells Anakin that he feels like he has always been looking for a life of significance outside of being an ordinary Jedi. Two things bother me about that statement, both of which of course are a part of Palpatine’s lies.

First, think of all the people that inhabit the Star Wars galaxy, billions and billions. How many of those people at one time are Jedi? Maybe a couple thousand at the most. Jedi Knights are not a common thing, it is a very rare talent to have, so that alone is significant just by itself.

Second, Anakin was not called to be just an ordinary Jedi, he was to be one of the most important Jedi ever. That seems awfully significant. But Palpatine played down this calling and his duty as a Jedi, wanting to deliver the promise of greater power and recognition else where, something that would bring respect and “show up” those who Anakin thought where out to devalue him.

The enemy often engages in this same kind of tactic, down playing a good work that you are called to do or the career that you are meant to have, especially if God is to receive all the glory from your actions. Proverbs 21:21 says, “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” The best way to receive the abundance of blessings that God has in store for our lives is to stay on track with His will, His perfect will. We may have to wait longer than we may think is necessary, but trusting in God’s timing is key.

A few days ago there was news of a shooting in California, the young man who was responsible for this crime was bitter and disgruntled with life. He felt that he was not getting enough recognition or attention, especially from girls, his plan was to prove to those around him just how much power he really had and what he was capable of; therefore hoping to gain…something. Much like Anakin he was impatient, much like Anakin he had lost faith in those around him and just like Anakin he lost everything. Sadly however, this young man died as his Darth Vader. God only knows what sort of Kingdom potential was within him, yet he was talked into tearing it all down in the pursuit of fruitless gains and he even more sadly, took some innocent people with him.

Anakin found himself in a similar position, he tore down everything that he was called to be and took a great deal of people down with him. He lost everything; his wife, his children, his friends, his hope, and his passion. Well he almost lost everything, his calling stayed with him. His calling that was so good and so significant, that it managed to stay alive within what little was left of Anakin Skywalker after he turned into Darth Vader. Anakin was reminded of who he was meant be and gained more in that one revelation than in all his years as Darth Vader. Luke had faith in his father’s goodness (the goodness that both him and Padame knew was still there), more importantly he had faith in the source from which that goodness came from and it brought Anakin back.

The calling that God has in store for your life whether big or small is significant, more than you may ever know. God will reveal His plans in His time, have faith and trust Him. There is nothing that can be gained from following the urgings of the enemy, don’t allow him to minimize God’s plans. Have faith the goodness that flows through you, for it comes from a source that never fails. 

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Impatient Hero

Anakin Skywalker can be considered a hero right? I mean in the end he was able to do something pretty amazing, defeat evil. Wow! Pretty awesome huh?! But, he struggled with many things, he had faults and he made a TON of mistakes. One of the things that he struggled with was patience. Most of us have heard a sermon based on the Bible passage that discusses the fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 states, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”

Anakin didn’t feel like the Jedi council was giving him the opportunities he thought he deserved on the time line he thought they needed to be on. Because of this he began listening to someone who kept Anakin thinking that the council was indeed passing him up for a reason. Of course we know what happens there. Obi Wan told Anakin -the last time they talked before he turned into Darth Vader- that he needed to be patient and that one day he will become a Jedi Master. He just needed to be patient. Being patient can be tough and it takes the other fruits of spirit to make it work.

This week my patience was tested in handling my daughter’s nervousness about her ballet class, something she had been looking forward to for over a month. While there she was too nervous and overwhelmed to dance with the other kids and she would tell us that she thought it was too hard, so she didn’t even try. She has this attitude with other things when they get too hard like, reading, Mario Kart, and board games. We keep encouraging her in all those situations because we don’t want her give up on herself. I knew that if she just tried she would like it and probably be pretty good.

So everyday we drove the 15 minutes to a near by town, so she could sit there and do nothing. And everyday we would tell her that she could do it if she tried. Boy howdy, let me tell you it took a LOT of patience! Mommy wasn’t really enjoying getting up early, getting two kids out the door, and driving 15 minutes everyday so she could sit there. When Friday came I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go, but I had a sitter lined up for my son and I didn’t want to give on my daughter. On the way there I kept telling her she could do it and she did! She danced and she was pretty good, on top of that she had fun. Guess who was there to see patience pay off? Darth Vader himself (that is her stuffed Darth Vader) and he was so proud of his favorite girl.

Patience isn’t easy but so worth it when it pays off. Anakin struggled with patience in the same way that we all do. Don’t give in to impatience and take the short cut. Anakin did that and lost any opportunity to be a Jedi Master. If I had taken that short cut I wouldn’t have seen my daughter dance and seen her so proud of herself. Little did we know then that, less than a year later she would be performing a solo on stage for the dress rehearsal for her second recital.

Let your actions be fruitful and as Galatians 5:25 says “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.”