“Fear is the Path to the Dark Side”

Last Saturday night I went to the free writer’s workshop at the library and I had a wonderful time, mostly because I dealt with the anxiety and fear I was fealing about it before I went. I reconnected with my creative writing professor from Mendocino College and published novelist and playwright, Jody Gherman. She loved the title of my memior, Confessions of a Christian Trekkie: Spititual Lessons God Taught Me Through Science Fiction (No, Really!!!). I’m getting a lot of laughs from the title and more than a little interest, which is what I’ve been aiming for. So I’m feeling even more confident about inviting people to read my blog and I appreciate all the likes I’ve been getting. There can be so much fear surrounding the prospect of presenting your work to others and the pressure to fear rejection can be enormous. However, it is vital that you do not listen to these fears. This is why I featured Anakin Skywalker as Darth Vader pre-iron lung suit.  Kenneth Copeland  is one of my favorite Bible teachers. In the Star Wars universe he’d be a Jedi Master when it comes to understanding and applying the spiritual laws that govern the universe. He once said that the fear of death connects you to the death you fear. Copeland often points out the time in Luke (no pun intended) 8:40-56, when Jairus came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his daughter, Jesus was going to Jairus house when the woman with the issue of blood came up and touched His cloak and was healed. About the time the woman was talking about her healing, men came up to Jairus as said his daughter was dead so leave Jesus alone because it was too late. But Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed” (Luke 8:50 NIV). Apparently Jairus refused to fear and just believed as instructed because Jesus raised the girl from the dead. But what would have happened if Jairus feared and refused to believe? Very likey, the daughter would have remained dead. After all, Matthew 13:58 says that Jesus could not do many miracles in His hometown “because of their unbelief” (KJV). Thankfully, Jairus did believe and much like Yoda ignored Luke Skywalker’s protests in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back that it was impossible to use the Force to get his x-wing out of Degobba’s swamp, but went on to remove it from the swamp, Jairus accompanied Master Jesus and saw Him ignore the scornful crowds and raise his daughter. Now what made this possible? Yes, it was the Anointing on Jesus’ and His ministry, but it was also Jairus faith and lack of fear that allowed the Anointing of the Holy Spirit flow and restore his daughter’s life.

Now what does this have to do with Anakin Skywalker? Well, if faith connects a person to life, then fear connects a person to death. In Anakin’s case, it is apparent that from the time he was young, he was dominated by the fear of loss. The Jedi Council note this in Star Wars: The Shadow Menace, telling him he is dominated by the fear of losing his mother. Anakin is dismissive, asking, “What does that have to do with anything?” Yoda’s response is quick and firm, “Everything! Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering,” and concludes mournfully, “I sense much fear in you.” Knowing how Anakin is dominated by fear, the Council does not give Qui Gon permission to train Anakin. Nevertheless, Obi Won chooses to disobey the Council. However, apparently in his training, Anakin is never taught to entrust his mother to the care of the Force. Instead, he continues to fear for her safety and I argue that according to the Bible, that very fear puts his mother in mortal danger and under the power of the Dark Side. Anakin’s fear draws the Sandpeople to his mother and her suffering causes Anakin to drag Padme away from where he was told to protect her, putting Padme in danger. When Anakin finds his mother dying, his fear quickly turns to anger and hate and he crosses the line, killing everyone in the Sandpeople village, including the children–talk about suffering. Thus we see Anakin take his first clear step onto the Dark Side and we know he isn’t finished, that many will suffer and die because of Anakins fear of loss and change–including his wife, many Jedi and the Republic itself.

So where does that leave us? We should not be so quick to judge Anakin, least we be judges ourselves (Matthew 7:1). Every person who calls him or herself a Christian must be willing to judge or examine themselves to see find the places where fear dominates. That fear may not be obvious. In my experience, I’ve had to look at the places of anger in my heart and ask why I was angry and usually I found I felt angry because I felt threatened–fearful. For me, that fear has usually centered around fear of being abandoned and being alone, which was triggered in me as a child because of my parents’ divorce. I felt alone and I tried very hard to avoid being alone–in my own stregnth. It took me a long time to realize that the only way I was going to feel at peace was if I entrusted the care of myself to God. I needed to see that He was strong enough and powerful enough to meet my needs, but also I needed to see that He loved me enough to be concerned about my needs. As I have been doing so, I have been discovering the truth of I John 4:8, that God is love and John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (NASB). So when I feel fear creeping up in my heart, I need to ask God, “In what area of my life am I not trusting you to take care of me?” Once He has shown me the area I’m not trusting Him in, what I find that works for me is meditating on, I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV) and I imagine handing whatever problem I have to Jesus and Him taking the problem, telling me, “Let Me work on this.” Meanwhile, I imagine resting in His lap with my head on His shoulder, literally in the everlasting arms (Dueteronomy 33:27). Wow, in the words of Jessie Duplantis, preacher and fellow sci-fi fan, “I done preached myself happy!” Seriously, my friends, please do not let fear “lead you down the primrose path” to the Dark Side, because God is more than capaple of handling whatever fear the Dark Side might throw at me.

Well, until I post again, to paraphrase George Lucas, may the Lord be with you!

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