It’s no secret that I love Star Wars more than any other movie. The action, excitement, and storylines are cathartic and you just leave the theater feeling like you helped defeat Evil. One of the first lines of the “A New Hope”, is Princess Leia Organa telling Governor Tarkin, when he declared that with the Empire’s Ultimate Weapon, that “the more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”
Last week, I wrote about the Journey to the Cross and how each of us must make an individual choice to follow Christ. I wanted to expand upon that discussion with Christ’s own words from Mark 8:34-38. In this passage, Jesus tells his disciples something similar to Leia Organa’s, don’t hold to this life too tightly or you may lose it. He tells the crowd around him that the Way of the Cross is the Way to Life Eternal. They can either live to have the most they can in this life, or they can choose to follow Him and gain a better life through the sacrifice they will make for Him and others for the Kingdom.
If we look for it, there are several examples of this principle in music, television, and movies. 38 Special sings “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go”. Indiana Jones hears the voice of his father telling him to “Let it go” when he is inches away from the Holy Grail, but will fall to his death if he does not let his father pull him to safety. And I don’t have enough space to give you the examples from the television shows THIS WEEK on one station that show people willingly sacrificing their lives and livelihoods for the benefit of others. It seems odd that with all of these examples of virtue and goodness in our line of sight that so many people still look to get rich at the expense of others, buy into the “look out for #1” mentality, or the desire to keep to oneself despite the needs of others being ever present in their midst.
Each of us may be the only one that can help another. We may be the last person to see someone alive, the last person to speak kindness to someone who has lost hope, the last person to be able to reach into the life of someone in need and meet it. We may be the only one who can make a difference when it counts. But how?
We must cultivate a spirit of selflessness, one that looks to see the need instead of waiting around for it to get our attention. We must “buy into” Jesus’ words and life in order to learn how to stand in the gap of sin and pain and see them without determining their worth based on their circumstances. We can either choose to be Christ’s hands and feet, or we can walk through life living for ourselves and realize that the end of the road does not produce more of anything. In fact, if we live for ourselves, we will not only be alone, we will realize how empty our lives really are. Empty your life of you and fill it with Christ.
Am I spending my life as quickly as I can for Christ or hoarding it for myself?