“There’s no mystical energy field controls my destiny.” Controls? Probably not. Influences, while still allowing for free agency? I believe so. The Force, much like God, is capable of mighty miracles (creating Anakin Skywalker, for example), but more often it influences individuals to act in ways that change the fate of the galaxy. As evidenced in scriptures, God is also capable of amazing wonders, but most often he ministers to us through people that we encounter in our daily lives. These subtle “miracles” are usually more impactful.
Have you ever been deep in thought during the day or laid awake at night hoping (or praying) for something you need, whether it be moral support, financial help, assistance in solving a problem at work, or help in making a major decision? These concerns may seem to pale in comparison to a galaxy-saving situation, but when you are the one in the middle of it, it feels like the galaxy is closing in on you. And after having these thoughts, has a friend, co-worker, family member, or even a stranger provided you with the help you need? It seems to happen quite often to many people. They could be coincidences. But when a friend you haven’t seen or talked to in a long time calls or texts you and says that they just had an out-of-the-blue idea that the two of you should go to lunch, and it just so happens that you have had a miserable couple of weeks and have been sinking into depression and needed someone to talk to, does it really seem like a coincidence? Or maybe it’s something as simple as you feeling the need to stop into a co-worker’s office (one you’ve never been to before) only to find out that they were having a work problem that only you were capable of helping with. These could be nothing more than just random thoughts, but isn’t it entirely possible that they could be promptings from a higher power?
It’s also possible, and highly likely, that Rey had many sleepless nights on Jakku thinking about leaving, even though she felt obligated to stay. And while scavenging The Graveyard of Ships on Jakku, she probably wished she could be somewhere else, anywhere else, but never had an overwhelming push to leave. Maybe she felt like she had much to offer to the galaxy (which is true), but couldn’t bring herself to leave Jakku on her own, even though deep down inside she knew that whoever left her there was never coming back. She may have wanted to leave, but never did. That is, until BB-8 and Finn finally gave her the motivation she needed.
Did the Force finally realize that it was out of balance again, and the only way to get back into balance was to have a scavenger girl on a desolate planet realize her potential in the galaxy? But how to do this? Rey still had her agency and was choosing to remain on Jakku for an indeterminate amount of time. She would feel selfish if she was to leave before her family returned. But if she had a new purpose of helping a droid and a supposed Resistance fighter return to the Resistance a much-needed map to the location of Luke Skywalker, that may help her take her first steps to saving the galaxy. First, though, a First Order Stormtrooper had to make his ultimate decision to defect from the only life he had ever known.
FN-2187 had many thoughts about leaving the First Order, and he probably had other opportunities to leave prior to his landing on Jakku. But did the Force provide him with a take-it-or-leave-it chance once he returned to his Star Destroyer? He had the best Resistance pilot at his disposal, he had just seen his friend killed (by the best Resistance pilot), and he was looking at disciplinary action from Captain Phasma, and possibly Kylo Ren. FN-2187 could have chosen to stay in the First Order. He still had his agency, also. But he was prompted by the Force to leave at just the right time to help just the right hero and at just the right location. Was it a coincidence that Finn decided to leave the First Order over a planet on which he would be unable to hide, to meet a once in a generation girl, who lived near the ship once owned by a former Rebellion hero? Oh, and that old war hero just happened to be passing over Jakku at the right time also. Coincidence? Or the will of the Force?
I believe that the Force doesn’t make anyone do any particular thing, but it can put individuals in positions to make small yet important choices. The Force allows beings to still have their free agency to make their own decisions. If it blatantly forced Rey unwillingly off of Jakku to help save the galaxy, Rey would have been reluctant to help. But since she was put in a position to choose to help, she did it willingly and passionately. She could have let the Teedo that trapped BB-8 keep the droid, but something inside of her told her she needed to save him. She could have also given BB-8 to Unkar Plutt in exchange for the rations she desperately needed. She could have justified that as the reason she chose to save BB-8 from the Teedo. But the Force prompted her to keep him for a reason she didn’t yet know. And then Finn came along to keep her progressing along her path. This is very similar to how God works. Sometimes we are motivated to do things that don’t make sense to us, only to find out later that it made all the difference to someone in our lives. As we know, Finn’s decision to leave the First Order when he did resulted in motivating Rey to leave Jakku, which set off a chain reaction of events that, I think, will result in the saving of the galaxy.
When I was in college, I was planning on applying to physical therapy school, until a co-worker/friend who was applying to dental school suggested that I look into that also. If I went to PT school I could stay near home and it would only be three extra years of school. If I went to dental school I’d have to move out-of-state for at least four years. But after talking to my friend about it more and doing a lot of research about the profession, I knew going to dental school was what I should do. It just felt right. Maybe I would have come to that conclusion eventually on my own, but I don’t think I would have even looked into dentistry without the suggestion from my friend, who was prompted to recommend it to me. By going to dental school I made some lifelong friends and it also eventually led to me meeting my wife. That conversation with my friend had a huge payoff in my life.
So what do you think? Do both God and the Force give promptings to allow people to be miracles in others’ lives? Is it true? All of it? Or is it just a bunch of mumbo jumbo? Thanks for reading my blog! You can contact me on Twitter @ryderwaldrondds or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember:
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