Up at 4 this morning...made the mistake of having caffeine late in the day. Had Michael for about 5 hours and wanted to keep up with him. He's probably sleeping now, and Nana Karen is wired for sound!
I subbed at a local high school a few times in the last couple of weeks...for the same teacher--career tech ed. I guess he thinks no one can handle the lab modules in the class...so I got to show the class the movie, Star Wars: Phantom Menace....the first part 6 times in two days. The second part 6 times in 2 days. Do you know how boring that was for me? I think I memorized the lines. I thought I might go mad after the 6th showing of the pod races.
The wisdom of Yoda hit me in the second half of the movie. It's the scene where the Council is grilling little Anakin Skywalker to see if he measures up to be a Jedi. Yoda asks the future Darth Vader if he is afraid. Ani lies and says, "No." Yoda and the Council (cuz they're Jedi and all) aren't fooled one bit.
"Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, and hatred leads to suffering," I believe is what Yoda states in that old voice version of Kermit the Frog.
Psychologists tell us that anger is not an emotion....it's the base emotion of fear gone another step. Or do I have that turned around? Anyway, that way makes sense, because it's clear both can be twisted around each other. Our basic fears about life....loss of life, of love or of those we love, easily lead to anger. One of the stages of grief...either of facing the death of a loved one, or of our own death...is anger. Who would think that we could become so angry at a loved one when they die? It's because our fear of abandonment leaves us pissed off. How could they leave us? They would never have left us if they truly loved us.
"Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, and hatred leads to suffering," and fear leads to the Dark Side is the message the little fella tells Ani. Like the Matrix, Star Wars can't help but throw in the spiritual side of creation. The Force is good, the Dark Side, evil.
1 John 4:18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
And, yet, we in the flesh still fear. We can't help it. We fear all kinds of things. But Perfect Love drives out fear, right?
But, we're human. Flesh. Would that we COULD follow this! We try:
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
We all know that God is love. We feel it often, I hope. We get glimpses of heaven.
I was at an art supply place buying canvas yesterday afternoon. I was in one line to begin with but was drawn to another checkout lane. The check out woman was talking to the customer in front of me, and I heard the word "prayer." When it was my turn, I asked her if I could pray about something for her. She looked at me and our eyes connected. She told me she was starting a singles ministry and to please pray for guidance from Him as to where she needed to take it. I said I would. I asked her to pray for me...the canvases and paint I was buying were for paintings for Him. We connected eye to eye again, and had this God moment where we laughed, we both flushed like we were having hot flashes and grabbed each other's hands. "If we never see each other again on earth, I'll meet with you in heaven," she said. "Praise God." We said together. That was a moment of perfect love. He orchestrated that moment, to give us that connection. To show us how it should be, COULD be...if only we would let go, and let Him.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister, we are liars. For if we do not love a fellow believer, whom we have seen, we cannot love God, whom we have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love one another.
That's a tall order, isn't it? We need to not only love a fellow believer...we need to love each other, no matter the walk. Tall order, indeed. We're walking in these fleshly garments. Is this a set-up or something? Sometimes, I just ask the Lord...."What were you thinking? You are perfect love. There is no way we can be You. You've bundled us up in imperfection, in emotion, in ego. How can we ever measure up?"
And then, we get those God moments where we know that it is possible:
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Phew. It's not OUR love for God. It's HIS love for us that qualifies us to be "Jedi." Thank God.
Because day to day gets in the way. We inevitably end up around a group or someone, not unlike the Council or little Yoda....and someone asks us, "Are you afraid?"
And we lie and say, "No."