The Force That's With Us
I must admit that my Super Bowl Party this year was a bit quieter than usual. I was worn out after my first day back at church after my surgery, and just didn't feel up to being at the church building for our annual Denbigh Super Bowl blow-out. (I assume that a local news crew did not cover us this year like they did the last time the Steelers were at the Big Dance because they thought Mike Tomlin had attended Denbigh Church of Christ as a kid rather than Denbigh High School next door). I did doze through parts of the first half (sorta like the Steelers seemed to) but then thoroughly enjoyed the game and even was pleased with the outcome.
But the game was the only good part of the game... IMHO. The commercials were just not all that funny, and some were just totally inappropriate. Why don't advertisers remember that the Super Bowl is a family thing? (Lynn assumed that GoDaddy.com is a porn site rather than a web-hosting sight because of their advertising!) And I chose to miss the half-time show, which from what I've read was a good decision. And frankly, I wasn't nearly as upset at Christina Aguilera flubbing the national anthem as I was impressed that she got back on track so quickly!
There was one great commercial that was both funny AND came with a great spiritual reminder. It starred a pint-sized Darth Vader trying to use the power of the force to no avail until...
The pint-sized Darth Vader thought that his own power had caused the Passat the start. Of course, the real force that started it was his father (with his cool new VW autostart remote). And that is so much like us, isn't it? We think that our accomplishments, successes and possessions come because of our own abilities, talents and nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. Sure, God does very often seem to help those who help themselves. He wants us to work hard, not just to bless ourselves and our families, but to be able to share with others in need (Eph. 4:28). We are to work hard at our work as if we were serving God and not just men... or ourselves (Col. 3:23-24).
But the force that allows us to work and succeed and bless others is from God himself. We may think the force is us, but our Father is behind us with the real power to bless us. Every good thing we have is a gift from our Father of lights (James 1:17). When we throw a light switch, the lights come on, but the real power is generated somewhere else. When we work to provide for our family, the power to earn and be blessed really comes from somewhere and Someone else. And we should always give thanks to Him. Moses gave Israel this warning as she prepared to enter into the Promised Land (Duet 7:17-18)--
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Ecclesiastes further tells us that not only does God give us possessions, He also gives us the ability to enjoy both our work and the possessions we have, "Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God." (Eccl 5:19).
We are the little kid pretending to be Darth Vader thinking we have the power. Thank God that we have a Father behind us who is holding the remote!