What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Star Trek & My Birthday

The Star Trek movie has been out for a month but Deb and I waited to go with some friends to see it for my birthday. Though I can't really call myself a Trekkie, I enjoyed the original TV series years ago. I like futuristic. I enjoy most adventure stories. When the opening line of the TV series began with, "Space, the final frontier," I would nod my head in agreement. I grew up during the space race so exploring outer space resonated with me for that reason also.

I might be odd, or maybe since it was my birthday, I drew some paralells between the movie and my life up to now. If you haven't seen the movie and plan to, you may not want to read on. In fact, this blog entry won't make much sense to you without first viewing the film.

I do recommend the movie. It's fun as well as futuristic. Seeing it makes me wish that I had done that summer series on movies I thought about doing, because to me, there were some really significant spiritual overtones in this flick.

Here's where Star Trek, the movie, and my life and spiritual journey intersect.

  • I would love to have the opportunity for the older, wiser version of me to visit the younger. In the movie, a future version of Spock shares insight with himself as a young man. Wishing you could go back in time and talk to yourself to ward off some mistakes, make course corrections, etc., is not a new idea in literature and life. But the quantum physics stuff (the atomic world is nothing like the world we live in) of time travel dealt with in sci-fi means we wouldn't have to travel back in time, but forward in time to have a little chat with ourselves. What would you say to your self if you could travel forward (or backward if you just don't want to blow your mind that much)? My list is too long for here and now. But I do have a list, which I think means that the journey has been worthwhile, bad as well as good, because I've been growing.

  • Watching Star Trek I also theorized that I shouldn't get so uptight over my conflicted duality of natures. Again, Spock is the character in the movie that experienced a personality crisis that mirrors this point. Half human, half Vulcan, he fights the inner battle between logic and emotion. For Christ followers the inner wrestling match is between the human nature with which we're born, and the spiritual nature received when we make a faith commitment to Christ. Put very simply, our fallen nature doesn't mind breaking the laws that God has enacted for our overall and long term well being. Our new nature on the other hand wants to cooperate with the good things God is trying to do in us and in the world around us. Throughout our lives a duel is waged between these alter egos. But instead of being threatened by this inconvenient result of the fall, we need to adapt to it. Once Spock understood both natures his life became more balanced. The Christ follower knows that his journey will be complete only in heaven, when, and where, two natures will no longer compete. Until then we need to accept the rivalry within as part of our spiritual journey.

  • Friendship. Spock to Jim Kirk: "I have been, and always will be, your friend." Now it may seem hokey to you that this is one of my favorite cinematic quotes but I gladly own up to it. Having true friends is one of the greatest accomplishments of life. Having long-lasting, even lifetime friends, even more so. Star Trek, the movie, furnishes interesting and well-choreographed prequel information on Kirk, Spock, "Bones," "Scotty," and even the lesser characters that made the TV series a cult classic. To me the TV series as well as the movie is about friendship. The friendship between Kirk and Spock was born of conflict, tempered by crisis, and cemented by common goals. The lives of two tested adventurers intersect and follow a common course, which is a big part of how deep friendships are forged. Superficial frienships are a dime a dozen, or, 50 cents per dozen, accounting for inflation. But you get what you pay for.