This week I will join throngs of Star Wars fans in heading to the theater and cheering as Star Wars: The Force Awakens fills the silver screen. It will be a moment long awaited – to see our favorite characters return and to finally know what became of them.
Of course, I find myself reflecting on why the original Star Wars film meant such a great deal to me and my generation. For me, it was because the story was so incredibly easy to relate to. When I first watched A New Hope, I fell in love with the story of a young boy from a desert planet who watched the stars and dreamed of great adventure… because you see, I was a young boy from the desert plains of New Mexico who had just moved away in order for my father to become a pastor out of state, and my family also dreamed of great adventures to come. But I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt strangely connected to Luke Skywalker. His was the story of my entire generation – a generation of dreamers, with our collective head in the clouds.
The exciting part is, we are now seeing our dreams become reality. So many of my college friends have made it – I mean really made it. Just this week my wife showed me a Facebook post of my old college roommate, who was recently honored with a Dove Award for his original Christian hit single! I’m so incredibly proud of him – and for all of us in general. We weren’t afraid to dream, we weren’t afraid to try, and we’re making it happen.
Now, as I prepare to watch the newest Star Wars film (with great anticipation, I might add), I find myself having come full circle. Though I have moved quite a few times since those old days and have seen tremendous life changes, in my heart of hearts I’m still that boy from the desert with my head in the stars. Once again life has brought me to the desert hills of New Mexico, except this time I’m the pastor, not my father. Since moving back I’ve learned that sticky mouse traps are excellent for catching scorpions and rattlesnakes, that I love teaching high school English, that God always provides above and beyond for those who step out in faith to follow Him…
And I’m happy. Truly, genuinely, happy. I couldn’t have imagined a better life for myself, and am so glad I followed the Lord where He wanted to bring me… which turned out to be the same desert state I started off in.
I imagine that after his swashbuckling adventures, Luke Skywalker found himself gazing back at those twin suns on Tattooine, feeling much the same way.
Here’s to dreaming…