A lesson learned from Star Wars 8

Aaron takes a selfie with Luke Skywalker on this way to watch Star Wars Episode 8

Can I confess my sins to you brothers and sisters?

I got really caught up in the online food fight that came in the wake of Star Wars 8, the Last Jedi.

For those of you who missed it, the latest installment of the most popular film franchise of all time came in for some decidedly mixed reviews. Most of the big media critics gave it high marks, while large numbers of fans, especially the most committed, hard core fans, really hated it. Not just didn’t like it, but HATED(!) it.

Although I never considered myself to be a hard core Star Wars fan, the original trilogy was among my cherished childhood memories, and Episode 8 left me deeply angry, hurt and disappointed. The utter contempt that director Rian Johnson and the rest of the team which produced Episode 8 showed to everything that had come before in the Star Wars franchise, and to all us fans who loved the previous movies and/or had, like myself, cherished childhood memories of them, was hard to take.

As soon as I got home, I logged on to Facebook and posted a long rant about it. This, needless to say, was responded to by people who liked the movie, and to make a long story short I spent (wasted, actually) dozens of hours of my life over the next several weeks arguing with friends and total strangers from all over the world, watching youtube videos made by people who also hated the movie, feeding my anger, and causing severe damage to some very important relationships.

At some point, I realized what I was doing, and that’s when the real pain started.

Because I’d been doing several things I often advise other people not to do, and I’d been neglecting some of the most important things a Christian is supposed to do.

For the three weeks or so this went on, I barely prayed or read the Bible. I skipped going to kehilah because I was exhausted on Saturday morning from having stayed up all night arguing with people on the internet. I was short tempered with my wife and children, bringing the anger caused by the movie and the arguments I was having about it with people into other areas of my life. I was mean and said things that hurt people.

The worst part was when I realized that none of it was an accident, but rather, it was all a quite deliberate trap set for me, and the rest of humanity, by the Enemy. The “Prince of the power of the air” as Paul warned about in Ephesians chapter 2, had managed to make me forget who I was in Christ, and Whose business I was supposed to be about. I’d been busily about the business of the Enemy instead, sewing division and hatred among brethren, wasting large amounts of the precious remaining time I have on this earth and hurting people I should have been helping, including myself.

Even as I sit here writing this, I can’t believe it happened. But maybe something good can come from it if someone reading this blog learns a lesson and doesn’t have to make the same mistakes I did if they’re ever in a similar situation.

Revelation 18:4 says; “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues”

What that says to me is that we belong to the Kingdom of Christ and we should do all we can to not participate in things which distract us from the responsibilities and privileges we have as subjects in that Kingdom. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of that, but I learned from Star Wars 8 and it’s online aftermath that I still have some attachments to the “things of this world” that I need to let go of in order to fully enter into my inheritance as a child of the King.

Revelations chapter 18 speaks of the regret many people will have when the “Babylon” world system collapses. Some of that will come, I believe, from the discontinuation of the massive entertainment industry which so many of us (myself very much included) have an unhealthy, perhaps even sinful, attachment to and/or emotional investment in. That means, among other things, that we may never find out how the story of Rey, Fin, Po and the rest ends. One good thing about Star Wars 8 is that I no longer care about that. What a blessing!

If you’re reading this, than you can help me redeem this tragicomic season of sinful indulgence of my flesh that I drifted into by giving some serious thought to what things you’re holding onto that you need to expunge from your life. What “plagues” of this world system do you retain emotional, financial, or ideological attachments to which could potentially drag you down with them when they inevitably fall apart and implode?

May God give us all the wisdom, faith, courage and fortitude to let go of the useless so our hearts will be free to retain the priceless.