24 Oct 2010

How Is God Like Obi Wan Kenobi?

Religious 13 Comments

Notwithstanding my flippant title, this is a serious post. I am directing it at people who already believe in a personal God; if you think that stuff is all poppycock, then you’re not going to get much out of this.

Lately I have had some major events in my life. I am not at liberty to discuss them, but perhaps one day I will write an autobiography. Suffice it to say, I was really sure I understood God’s plan for my life, and then I was metaphorically smacked upside the head.

But as time passes, things fall into place and it all “makes sense.” It doesn’t mean I necessarily enjoy the rollercoaster right now, but I understand that the engineer who built it knew what He was doing–and I’m confident I’m not going to fall out of my seat, even when we go upside down.

I am mostly writing this post as an encouragement to some of you who may be facing similar doubts. I know that when I was particularly confused, a few “unrelated” remarks by some of my friends really had special significance for me at the time, even thought they couldn’t have known all of the background details.

In closing, let me just say that I’ve come to realize that sometimes God is like Obi Wan Kenobi, who told Luke that Darth Vader had killed his father. Well, Luke is understandably upset after he hears a contrary claim from the helmeted one. If you remember, Kenobi explains that he actually told Luke the truth “from a certain point of view.”

Now I have always been troubled by that. What the heck, Ben, you knew Luke wasn’t going to interpret it the way you meant–so you at the very least misled him, and at worst, you lied to his face!

But in retrospect, what else could Ben have told the young, rash lad? “Hey, guess what? You know the arch villain of the universe? That guy’s your dad. Now then, put the blindfold back on and let’s play some more with the laser sword.”

So joking aside, that is how I’ve come to terms with the surprises in my own life. I think I needed to have certain things withheld from me, until I was ready to handle them.

And there is no doubt that we are all here for a reason. You can either embrace it or fight it, but you can’t get off the rollercoaster. You might as well throw up your hands and yell with joy.

13 Responses to “How Is God Like Obi Wan Kenobi?”

  1. Aristos says:

    C.S. Lewis writes in a semi-autobiographical format of his own struggle with “the roller coaster” in A Grief Observed, which he wrote after his wife died of cancer. I remember one of his comments being something like he’s not afraid that there is a God, but he’s afraid that God may be of a different nature than he’d suspected–something more like a mad scientist.

    The “Shadowlands” starring Anthony Hopkins touches on this, but the BBC production of (I think) the same name is more powerful.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Cool. BTW just to clarify everyone, I am not referring to any sort of bad medical news; it’s nothing like that. But I really can’t discuss it more than that, even though I felt I needed to write this post.

  2. Aristos says:

    I wasn’t taking it as such. I was just saying that Lewis collided with what he wanted to be God’s will and what turned out to be God’s will. It left him shaken, but with faith and hope he worked his way through it.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Oh I know you weren’t, Aristos. But I realized after I posted it that my vague remarks might lead people to think my son was sick or something.

  3. david (not henderson) says:

    Hi Bob. If it’s any comfort, it’s been my experience that the process of maturing (not that I claim to be mature) involves, periodically, learning that many things that you thought were right (and that many told you were right) are in fact wrong. It can sort of knock you for a loop but also be liberating.

  4. fundamentalist says:

    If I take you correctly, you’re saying some things you thought were good theology turned out to be not so good? Or at least you had to reinterpret things? That’s a common experience for most Christians. Unfortunately, it causes many to drop out. James Dobson wrote a book about that decades ago – “When God Doesn’t Make Sense.”

    In my own life I have found that I absorbed a lot of popular theology that I found later wasn’t Biblical when I got to know the Bible better.

  5. Scotty D says:

    Thanks for the post. What seem like stumbling blocks are merely stepping stones….

  6. Bleicke says:

    Wait, so you believe there is an invisible man in the sky who centrally planned EVERYTHING?
    Apparently this invisible man solved the knowledge problem, the calculation problem, the agency problem and some other problems.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Yes, my worldview requires God to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. You got me.

  7. Leo says:

    Dr. Murphy I think you are becoming a Calvinist. Check this out when you have some time.


    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
    -Romans 8:28

  8. Kyle says:

    Bob Murphy, your a man. Your publicizing God in a world/profession where God “rarely exists”, especially entangled or publicized in something related to his/her career. Thanks.

  9. Lazy Sunday Afternoon says:

    So, that thing about your grandma…is really true after all? Sorry, your post just made me remember that.

  10. knoxharrington says:

    How is God like Obi-Wan Kenobi?

    They both have beards and took a cut of the gross box office in lieu of salary.