Yesterday one of my friends asked me if I had time to meet with him. My answer basically reflects one of the core struggles of my life at this moment. I had a similar discussion with my daughter this morning. She seems to be following in the footsteps that I’m modeling.
There is an overwhelming number of things constantly calling for my attention. And it’s really easy for me to believe that I’m the only one that can handle them. That if I don’t react immediately, and correctly, everything will fall apart.
I often feel a bit like a protagonist in one of Greg Berlanti’s Arrowverse shows. Bad things are happening, the city — even the world — is falling apart and <the hero> is the only person who can possibly save the day. And they will do whatever it takes, sacrificing relationships, and working themselves to the bone to accomplish their mission.
If you haven’t seen the Last Jedi, I’m about to give away some significant elements of the plot. Consider yourself warned.
In the film, Poe Dameron is in a similar position. He sees himself as the only person capable of — or perhaps the only person willing to — rescue the rebel alliance from peril. But there’s a problem with his belief system. His commanding officer, Vice Admiral Holdo, tells him to stand down. She has a plan. She will take care of things. He just needs to trust her.
The trouble is, he can’t see that she’s doing anything…
This is my problem as well. I’m not trying to save the world, I’m just trying to make a movie, but I believe it’s important. God keeps telling me to trust him. He has a plan. He will take care of things. But…
If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Poe doesn’t listen. He decides that he’s the only one that can save everyone, and hatches an ill-fated plan to throw his friends into danger and eventually a lot of the people he’s trying to save are killed. It’s not clear that Holdo’s plan would necessarily have worked better. But the implication is strong.
That’s what I told my friend yesterday. I didn’t feel like I had time, but I needed to remind myself that I’m not the savior, Jesus already did that. Making time for friends and relationships is important. Talking with my daughter this morning, and sharing that her struggles are real and that I’m experiencing them as well, that’s important. Sitting down to write this blog today… also important.
I can’t make this movie single-handedly. In fact, I probably can’t make it at all. But my God, the creator of the universe, can do whatever he wants. He told me to do this. So I’m giving it my all. But I have to remember that it doesn’t depend on me. I’m not the only one who can make this work.
My title may be misleading. Poe Dameron is almost certainly not a Christian. But his struggle is a fundamental one for many believers, I think. How do we trust God when things aren’t all going well? When we feel overwhelmed? And it looks like trusting him is a recipe for failure?
I believe that God is trustworthy. Now I just have to live that belief.
Today was one of those days. I took major steps on three major, life-altering projects that crisscross my work and personal lives but are all completely separate.
I won’t lie: I’m overwhelmed. My world is spinning out of control. A lot of it is good. Or at least has the potential to be good. But it’s also horribly scary.
The repercussions of failure in any of these projects would be really crushing.
I feel a bit like a juggler, who has just thrown one too many balls in the air and knows he can’t catch them all, but is determined to maintain the show as long as he can.
Thats how I feel, but it isn’t the reality.
I was reading a post written by a friend earlier today, and she was talking about how she can tell when her family is doing something really important because everything in their lives flies apart in this wild chaotic mess. Because there is a real enemy that wants us to fail. Not if we’re living a trivial life, focused on ourselves. But if we’re stepping out faithfully to do God’s will, we should expect profound opposition. And it will manifest in all corners.
So I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I can’t even take the next step. But the feeling is a lie. Here’s the truth:
I’m not taking the next step alone. God is with me. That isn’t a platitude. I’m not delusional. The most powerful being in the entire universe is in my corner.
All I have to do is take that next step and trust that he’s taking it with me, working all the angles, clearing the path, and making it work. He’s done it before. In fact, he’s done it every other time.
Stepping into the chaos is going to hurt. It won’t be easy. And at each step forward, I’m probably going to face all these same doubts. But I’m not alone. I’m not in charge. I’m not the one who will make it all work. I’m just going on the journey.
Whatever you’re facing, don’t face it alone. Let Jesus walk it with you.