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Ministry in Context

"Luminous Beings are We": Star Wars, Yoda, and Wisdom for Internship

Star Wars is a part of my story, beginning in a galaxy far, far away when I was in high school, and has continued into later chapters of my life as I got married and had kids. Today I have the good fortune of living with family members who embrace Star Wars, and as such have learned enough to potentially answer through the $400 round if I was on Jeopardy. Yoda’s words, “Much to learn, you still have,” would apply to my depth of knowledge, but I do see the value in this epic tale, and as such I will gladly join my family members in the movie theater for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars needs no introductions through the generations due to the engaging and enduring story, which few other stories have managed to capture. However, the theology elements of Star Wars are most interesting to me, with Grand Master Yoda being the author of much quotable wisdom. While revisiting Yoda’s conversations, especially with young Master Luke, it made me reflect on internship and what if any lessons might be gained. Here’s a few to ponder:

  • Yoda and Luke are a team. They need each other in different ways, but they do need each other to live into their call, for today and for the future. “Always two there are, no more, no less.” - Yoda
  • Yoda and Luke developed a trusted relationship. It took energy from both of them to grow their relationship, but it was well-worth the commitment.
  • Yoda and Luke were individuals. Each had their own gifts and talents, and each needed to be authentic to who they were.
  • Listening is an invaluable element of their relationship, and it was a two-way listening.
  • Learning happens over time and varied experiences. Yoda and Luke together invested in Luke’s learning journey through a variety of opportunities: conversation, practice, experience, questions, affirmation, risk-taking, and the courage to try again.
  • Yoda believed in Luke. Yoda believed Luke had what it took, and was willing to invest his energy and share his own journey with Luke.
  • Yoda challenged Luke. Luke’s apprenticeship under Yoda wasn’t easy. But Yoda believed in Luke, and Luke willingly accepted the challenge, although not every day scored high in the success category. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda
  • Luke had a calling. Luke’s vocational calling required him to imagine his life’s work differently, and be willing to come to terms with what this might look like.
  • Knowing your Leadership skills is important (and more important than one’s height)! Self-awareness of one’s own capacity and style of leadership is necessary. Yoda and Luke were leaders in different ways, using different skills and talents. Exploring and understanding oneself as a leader is a first step to being an effective and trusted leader. Leadership presence is often valued and measured differently than what culture may suggest. “Judge me by my size, do you?” - Yoda
  • Luke and Yoda both had faith. Faith is not without its struggles, its deep challenges, and joys. But trusting and having faith take intentionality and often call a person to let go of cultural assumptions, and respond to a greater mission.
  • Yoda and Luke together saw the bigger picture. The daily needs of life were important and required tending, but together Yoda and Luke kept their eyes on the Bigger Picture, the Bigger Story, the story that Saved the people.

You may find more inspirational lessons to be learned from relating Star Wars and one’s Internship experience. Through my “Much to learn, still you have” knowledge of the Star Wars stories, I did see stories of what it means to learn alongside, with, and from each other, of teams who learn to trust each other in joy and challenge, who take risks together for the sake of the people, and who see -- and live! -- the Bigger Picture. While the Star Wars story is a fictional narrative, your story is a real, living narrative, filled with much to still learn, because of the amazing God we encounter every day.

And in our “galaxy”, that narrative comes to light ever so brightly at Christmas and New Year and remains lit all year, and all life, as we experience and live God’s hope and grace on God’s kingdom. Thanks be to God!

Always in motion, the future is. - Yoda

Indeed, the word of God is living and active... - Hebrews 4:12

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