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Path_of_the_jedi_6

In recent years I’ve related more to the Skywalker family than at any time in my life. I’m no Jedi, nor will I ever be, but events in my life have determined the path I am on.

Luke decided to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like his father before him (from a certain point of view.) Anakin, due to some unfortunate events in his life was eventually tempted by the dark side of the Force and became Darth Vader. Promises of better things for him and his loved ones seduced him to the dark side and although the good inside him remained somewhere, his pain, loneliness and eagerness for power made his dark side overpower any sliver of good residing in him.

I was brought up in a very religious family. My parents when growing up were Jehovah Witnesses before leaving to become Christadelphians. I never baptized with the Witnesses but I did attend many meetings and Congregations. Although their beliefs were not for everyone, I knew no other option. I actually enjoyed the many deep bible discussions I would have with my father and for all the bad things said about the Jehovah Witnesses, one thing I gained and thank them for is a high moral upbringing.

For reasons which would be too long to explain here, my parents left the Witnesses and my mother found The Christadelphians. My mother baptized within their congregation but my father never did (he didn’t agree with some of their beliefs even though he attended their talks). I was amazed by the strong community within the Christadelphians and their easy-going preaching attitude. They welcomed more younger people than the Witnesses due to this. I met many friends and felt their beliefs and teachings were good. At one point I considered being baptized with them.

Then, like Anakin, I had a few things rock my world so to speak. First my father died suddenly which knocked me for six. My mother and I were devastated. I had moved out at this point and was living with my wife, Rachel. My mother would adjust to living on her own. It was hard.

A year went by and my wife had a miscarriage and that hit us bad, but the worst was yet to come. A week later my brother took his own life. No indication of why. He was happily married with a three year old daughter. I felt mad, sad and confused all at the same time. Little did we know that there was more upset to come. My mother-in-law went into hospital for an operation. We had a call to say her heart had stopped on the operating table due to an allergic reaction to the anesthetic/dehydration. Thankfully, she is still with us. All these events led to religion becoming more and more distant to me. I had my ever reliable wife to be there for me, and I hope I was there for her too. We became our own force and feel that those dark days definitely made us stronger.

We lost loved ones. We had gone through a tragic point in our lives and I guess people react in different ways and that is evident in Star Wars.

Ben turned to Luke and said, “You must learn the ways of the Force, if you’re to come with me to Alderaan.” Luke’s response proved he was not prepared to leave his family at that point.

Luke 14: 25-27
Many people were traveling with Jesus. He said to them, “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, even more than your own life! Whoever will not carry the cross that is given to them when they follow me cannot be my follower.”

Luke still thought he had his aunt and uncle at this point. He, (I guess like most of us would,) found it difficult to drop everything and pursue faith and beliefs. Luke, like all of us, proves we are not perfect. It was after he found out he had tragically lost his aunt and uncle did he decide to leave it all behind and pursue his calling. He didn’t look back at that point. He followed Ben, sold his speeder and left to learn the ways of a Jedi.

A tragic event led to him becoming closer to his beliefs. Anakin, on the other hand, drifted further away from his original calling and beliefs after equally tragic events in his life. Two men both confronted with horrible circumstance and two different outcomes.

I bring this up because before the tragic events in my life I was ready to commit to a baptism with The Christadelphians and due to these events I have turned my back on religion. Not completely. I still pray every day for guidance and safety and well-being of others, but I must admit as the days go on I continue to lose my faith and feel the path I am on now is moving further and further away from my religious beliefs. Before too long I won’t be able to see the original path I was on and feel that it would be difficult to find again if I decided to look for it.

To end on a high note I am still with my wonderful wife, who is also my best friend. We are both geeks and enjoy our life full of comic cons and geekdom. I have my mother and in-laws and all get on except the cheating at Christmas time during Trivial Pursuit.

I am no Jedi but I feel I have changed paths just like Anakin. I am not governed by anger, power or bad feelings. My moral upbringing is still there and that will never change, but my beliefs have and I wonder if I will ever get to build a house once again on anything other than sand.

May the Force be with you all

Rob Wainfur from The Bearded Trio reporting for:

Coffee With Kenobi.  This IS The Podcast You’re Looking For

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3 Comments

  1. Melinda
    July 16, 2015 at 08:28 Reply

    What a powerful blog, Rob. No holes barred. Thank you for sharing this very personal part of your life with us.

    If I may …

    Life takes some very strange (at times) twists and turns, does it not? I know one individual who, years ago, was a very happy-go-lucky individual, did not have a prejudiced bone in her body, but when she became the victim of a crime (committed by an individual of African American descent), that one unfortunate event changed her mind about people of color. For a while, vehemently so. That one act skewed her whole way of looking at an entire race of people. Rational? My mind says no — even hers did. For a good while, however, she just couldn’t get past the idea that someone did a grievous wrong against her, and that person was black. It took quite a few years, but she finally realized that one bad apple does not ruin the entire barrel. Life’s experiences — both good and bad — most definitely do affect our perceptions, and sometimes lead us down paths that we once considered foreign to our ways of thinking.

    Regarding Luke and Anakin (how can a conversation among Star Wars friends not come around to that? 😉 ), one of the most fascinating aspects of dissecting the comparisons and differences between father and son — at least to me — always has been the ways the two dealt with the tragedies and losses in their lives, or the threat of such, and the ensuing affects on them. Anakin allowed his anger and hatred to overpower (what I like to think of as) his better judgment. He always was rash — acting before thinking — but there were hints of his ability to rein in his impetuousness. This gave viewers the impression Anakin eventually would mature into a thoughtful — thinking-before-acting — type of individual. His inability to do so, and to act unselfishly made his fall to the Dark Side all the more tragic. Anakin had so much potential.

    Luke, on the other hand, did not allow his anger, his need for revenge to fuel his actions. If one looks closely at the scene in ANH, when Luke returns home to find the remnants of the Imperial attack on his family, Luke most definitely has a look on his face that denotes anger, the need for revenge. THAT is what fuels his immediate desire to join Ben on his crazy crusade. Unlike his father, however, Luke PAYS ATTENTION to the teachings of one who is wiser, more experienced (that would be Obi-Wan 😉 ), and gets a grip on what would have been very destructive feelings. Yes, events thrust Luke down a different path — but it really wasn’t all that different from where he wanted to travel. 😉

    more…

  2. Melinda
    July 16, 2015 at 08:50 Reply

    continued…

    A few short months ago, when my youngest daughter was home on her final college spring break, a conversation we were having took a few twists and turns. 😉 Eventually, it took us to a point at which we found ourselves talking about where life takes a person, and figuring out whether one path or another is the correct path. She asked me about my own life, and whether I followed the path I was meant to follow. This is what I told her: “When I was your age, I NEVER thought I would be here, where I am now. I went to college to get my degree in journalism. My dream was to be a foreign correspondent. That was all I wanted in the world. I was going to travel the world over, reporting from all corners, and live that life, wherever it took me.

    “Then, I met your father. I still got my degree in journalism, and I worked as a journalist for many years (now my writing has taken me in a different direction 😉 ), and I’ve even taken some non-journalism side paths that I have enjoyed very much. Thirty years ago, I never would have considered any of those pursuits, but I would have missed so much. You just have to trust your heart, to listen to it. It will lead you in the right direction.”

    “But, are you happy? Since you didn’t do what you originally wanted to do?” she queried, digging deeper.

    “I may not have traveled down the path I originally intended, but if I had to do it all over again, take the hard with the good, I wouldn’t change a thing. What would I give up to have that once-imagined life? You? Your sister? Your dad? There is NOTHING in this entire world that would make me do that. Not even to be that once-desired foreign correspondent.”

    In 10 day’s time, she is moving to Japan (not for school; she’ll be working there). That is further away than I ever thought she would be — given the fact that the careers that have appealed to her would have kept her closer to home. She’s got too much of me in her, however — the adventurer in her is taking her down a path that will take her very far from home. Aunt Beru’s words to her husband have been coming back to me time and time again as the day we say good-bye gets closer and closer: “He’s got too much of his father in him.”

    All I’m saying, Rob, in my long-winded way, 😉 is that yes, events, experiences most definitely affect our lives. The question is: HOW are we going to let them affect our lives? Each of us must answer that question for ourselves.

    Great blog! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    MTFBWY 🙂

  3. Rob Wainfur
    July 29, 2015 at 01:29 Reply

    Melinda I really appreciate your comments. My heart has been guiding me quite a bit. I like where it’s been sending me so far.

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