Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A Long Time Ago, Luke Skywalker Lived On Mission

Samson Dressed up as Luke Skywalker

My kids have reached the age of Star Wars. Samson, in particular, is a HUGE fan. He loves all of it and devours everything he can get his 5-year-old hands on. As a fellow Star Wars fan - putting Episodes 8 & 9 aside (1) - it's a blast watching him discover this new galaxy.

But it's also got me thinking. What's so attractive about Star Wars?

Lightsabers are cool (obviously). And I think the clear distinction between good and evil speaks to the desire for justice given to us by God. However, as an adult re-watching, re-watching, and re-watching Episode 4, there's another element I find attractive:

Luke lives on mission.

When the film starts, he's living a normal life: He has chores, school, and a regular schedule. He eats a mostly-normal breakfast every morning. It's ho-hum.

But then his life flips upside down, and he no longer has a "regular" life. From that point on, everything he does is in service to his mission (to defeat the Empire).

"You can't stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting." —Shmi Skywalker

Notice how we no longer see him eating meals or saying, "I'll do that tomorrow because it's dinner time." Yes, it's partly because that would be boring to watch, but that's part of the point. He's on an adventure (2)!

Watching Luke is fun because it's what so many of us want with our lives: to have a mission we're passionate about and be able to focus intently on accomplishing that mission. There isn't a regular schedule or wasted time.

It's inspiring!

I also think it's fascinating that these types of missions are often precipitated by an untenable situation. For Luke, it was a horrific family tragedy. For others, it's getting fed up with a job enough that they start a business (it's probably not the best reason, but it's still living on mission). Or, it's the highly inspiring people who can't stand that there are people in the world who haven't put their faith and trust in Jesus.

Another feature is the newness of everything. If you're constantly pursuing a mission, you're continually learning and being challenged. Luke's pre-Kenobi life was predictable and comparatively easy (3).

"I like firsts. Good or bad, they're always memorable." —Ahsoka Tano

I think this is another draw of starting a business: everything is new! How will you provide the product/service? How will customers find out about it? And, what will you charge? These are all exciting questions that make you feel like you're living on a mission. Even for established companies, new problems crop up. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I needed to figure out how to stop a roof leak.

So, to finish off this Star Wars musing, I'd like to offer three pieces of advice if you feel like your life is boring and stuck in the rat race.

1) Spend 30 minutes on something you care about

"In my experience, there's no such thing as luck." —Obi-Wan Kenobi

Challenge yourself this week to intentionally hold off on watching TV for 30 minutes. In that time, pursue something of interest. It could be anything! Find your mission and get after it!

For example, I'm taking a class to learn how to ride a motorcycle with Jessi (to pass the written and safety parts). If you don't have something, try something new to see if you like it. Or, at the very least, go exercise.

2) Start a side hustle

"Never tell me the odds." —Han Solo

Take your hobby to the next level. What's cool about it, besides earning more, is that it gives you that sense of mission.

For example, I don't care about the day of the week or putting in 8 hours in my business because if a project needs to get done, I keep going. Starting a side hustle will be more work, but you won't mind it as much because you're chasing your mission. Remember, Luke's life was also more challenging when he lived on mission.

I recommend listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast during your 30-minute TV break if you're interested.

3) Remember who you're working for

"Your focus determines your reality." —Qui-Gon Jinn

Chances are you can't quit your job, but you can change how you feel about it. There are two Biblical principles worth knowing.

First, in Paul's letter to the Colossians, he says, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24)

Second, King Solomon (the wisest king ever) made an observation:

"This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart." (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20)

It might seem goofy, but if you repeat these verses daily, you'll start to see how you're directly serving Christ, which is the best mission of all.

"Don't call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease." —C-3PO

Luke Skywalker's Speeder
Of course, we own this

(1I'm OK with them as standalone fantasy films but feel betrayed in the context of the whole Star Wars canon. The Mandalorian season 2 finale captures the Skywalker I wanted in Episode 8.

(2) Many other movies capture this same idea - The Lord of the RingsThe LEGO MovieThe Matrix, and Frozen, to name a few. Perhaps the quintessence of such movies is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

(3) I think. I don't actually know how hard it is to work on evaporators. At least it didn't appear to be as urgent.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Love the way you think and have no fear! One of the things I always said to the kids, "stop telling yourself no, there is enough in this world telling you no."