Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Becoming A Jedi
At some point in the last few months, the boy child was introduced to Star Wars. I think my husband may have brought home the 1977 original. For Mister, it was love at first sight. Space ships. Bad guys. Weapons that light up and make eerie sweeping noises. So it came to pass that the epic battle between subversive good and dominant evil came to roost in his brain, filling the dinner conversation, and car conversation, and bedtime conversation with talk of Darth Vader, X-Wing Fighters and the Dagobah system.
And since he watched Episode I a few weeks ago, there has been almost no room in his engineer brain for anything other than pod racing. He asked me with a straight face if I could give him any wires I find around. I asked him about his interest. “I am going to build a pod racer, so I will need lots of parts,” he said. By the next day he was suggesting that I remodel the downstairs bathroom (which needed to be remodeled some 30 years ago) so that he could have the materials for his pod racer. I let him know there were no plans for remodeling. He wasn’t happy about what that meant for the progress of his project.
Finally I convinced him that all engineers start by drawing their designs. So he has been drawing. Pod racers in yellow crayon with big buttons, little buttons, sliding buttons, metal buttons. Pod racers in ballpoint pen. Pod racers in pencil. And in each drawing he is in the cockpit, driving a powerful machine through harrowing courses in two dimension.
The other day I asked him to show me how much of his brain had been taken over by his pod racing plans. He used both hands, and covered everything but his left eye.
And then today, on the way to school, he yelled from the back of the van, “Mom! I can already use the force!” He had been blowing bubbles, which he was able to direct (via air current) by moving his leg. He tried to take the bubbles into school to show his friends. He told his dad all about it at dinner.
So young, yet already able to harness the power of the universe, able to move things with his mind.
All this discovery of power makes me think of the Marianne Williamson quote, made famous by its alleged connection to Nelson Mandela’s 1994 Inauguration Speech. In the context of Mandela’s election, the words take on particular power:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
The argument goes on to remind the listener that they are made in the image of God Almighty, that their “playing small does not serve,” that their light will inspire more light, will gift others in the circle with permission to shine. The first time I saw this quote it stopped me in my tracks. And I think deep down I knew that something about it was true and deeply spiritual.
I often joke about what I call “Ouija board Jesus.” And I guess I mostly do that to play down what I see as the real role of the real Holy Spirit in the daily events of life. Somehow I have come to a place where I couch the power of God in the terms of teen-Halloween movies. Not cool. Does the bible not say that he will come with power? Does the bible not say that mountains can be moved with a word? Does not the faith of the blind man, stretching out his arm and voice in the direction of God himself, not bring real healing?
So, I watch my baby boy – made in the image of God – playing with the possibilities of a life lived with real power. I do want him to know that God has made him strong. And able. With a powerful mind, and steady heartbeat. And like the Jedi before him, he will have to learn to look and listen for the source of life, and bend to the difficult training which will ready both mind and body for a life attuned to the Spirit.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2