I haven’t yet seen the latest Star Wars movie. The debut of “The Force Awakens” occurred exactly one year after the wake of our nineteen year-old son, Elijah. Ironically, I was nineteen when the first Star Wars movie debuted. More ironic, I suppose, is the movie’s name. Ever wonder why we hold a ‘wake’ the day before a funeral service?
Many years ago, people stayed up all night before a burial in case their loved one awakened. That probably seems strange to us today. With our advanced medical knowledge we don’t so easily confuse death and sleep. And we certainly expect that after falling asleep we will eventually awaken. Otherwise we wouldn’t need alarm clocks.
Sleep is one of life’s markers separating the past from the future. It’s like having a ‘reset button’ where we can forget what happened before. Our memories from the day are put on hold as we fade into dreamland. After we awaken we typically feel rested and refreshed. The past is behind us. The future looks brighter. We are better prepared to face the excitement of what lies ahead.
Though sleep may be important to us physically, it serves as a reminder of life’s essential principle: Our goals lie in the future, and we cannot relive the past. We don’t need to fall asleep in order to embrace the principle of separating the past from the future.
‘The Force’ from the Star Wars movies didn’t awaken because it needed a nap. It had become neglected and forgotten. For many of us there is also something very important that has become neglected and forgotten: the daily pursuit of heavenly perfection. The Apostle Paul reminds us how to apply life’s essential principle to that all important daily pursuit.
“I focus on this one thing: FORgetting the past and looking FORward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize FOR which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Phil 3:13-14)
I purposely emphasized the three uses of the word ‘FOR’. They provide the keys to the application of this life principal to the goal of pursuing perfection. Don’t live in the past. FORget about it! Look FORward to the future. And never give up on your pursuit of heaven FOR which God is calling you.
As Elijah often emphasized before he died: Live life with a purpose. And In the true spirit of Star Wars, may the FOR‘s be with you!
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