Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
An admitted Trekkie, I went into official mourning last week as my wife and I watched the concluding episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. Set in the early 22nd century (about 150 years before Captain Kirk ever took the helm of a starship) this series focuses on the period of technological discovery and war against intergalactic prejudice that led to the formation of the Federation of Planets.
Of course, there is a reason that this series only lasted for four seasons. Compared to the other series in the Star Trek franchise, this particular one struggled with slow-moving plot lines. The series got off to a slow start, but by Season Four things were really beginning to get interesting, and the crew of this ship really had won our hearts.
But what I loved most about this series was its overall message, which was woven intricately into the seams of every episode. And that is simply this: that we need others in order to find success.
Though humanity had discovered warp travel on their own, they needed the help of the Vulcans in order to learn the rules of alien cultures and establish a place for themselves in the galaxy. Of course, as the series moved on, it turned out that the Vulcans (among other alien species) needed the humans as well in order to continue to thrive.
The same lesson was being learned on board the Enterprise as well. At first the crew didn’t trust their engineer, Trip Tucker, since he was viewed as an uneducated “hick.” But by the end of the series, he had earned their respect as one of the most ingenious engineers ever to leave Earth’s orbit.
Of course, this lesson doesn’t only apply in the world of science fiction. Scripture tells us plainly that we are not meant to live the Christian life alone, but in community. We see in Romans 12:4-8 that the church was designed by God to act as a body. Each member possesses unique gifts and a unique perspective, and each member is vital to the success of the church.
When I first arrived as a young pastor at a church filled with older people, there was noticeable tension at first. But over the past few months, I have come to truly value and lean on the wisdom of those in my congregation, and in turn they have begun to value the talents and creativity that my family and I have to offer as well.
No matter what we are trying to achieve, the truth remains the same: we need others in order to find success.