Luke Skywalker is on Dagobah in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda and Ben Kenobi are discussing the fact that the boy is too old to begin Jedi training.
Luke says: I won’t fail you. I’m not afraid.
Yoda: (turns slowly toward him) Oh, you will be. You will be.
(yes, I have the scripts for these three movies. Good heavens, I didn’t realize how much my geekiness had permeated my existence!)
Yoda knew that fear would soon overwhelm Luke, in fact as soon as the training began with Luke entering the big, black, dark cave in a tree, the young boy would experience far more than he had even imagined. The only thing that Luke would find inside the blackness was what he took with him and that would be nothing more than his soul and his wits.
Mom was afraid of closed doors. She became paralyzed by a closed door because she couldn’t see what was on the other side. She wasn’t afraid to walk into a room, no matter the experience, as long as her eyes allowed her to view the layout and whatever might be awaiting her. Her close friends and family knew this fear and generally went along to open doors for her.
She wasn’t afraid to speak to large and small groups of people or take college courses as an adult, or paddle a canoe in whitewater, or run for the school board, or raise a family in Iowa after having lived as a pampered debutante in Boston, or even to die; but the first time she entered a room, she needed someone else to open the door.
I thought this fear had only been communicated to her family until a friend of hers told me that the two of them had taken college courses together. Mom helped Sonna recognize that she was smart enough for college and Sonna opened classroom doors on the first day of class.
Revelation 4:1 says that John saw an open door leading to the throne room in heaven. Jesus tells us in John 10:9, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” I guess I’m glad that Mom had an open door … an open gate to make it into heaven or she might never have left earth!
I have discovered that my greatest fear is imperfection. I simply shut down because I look for reasons that I can’t do something as well as another person. I gauge my expertise and will not attempt something because it won’t live up to some insane standards I have created.
I find myself setting too many good ideas aside because I am so afraid of either failing or doing a mediocre job. You can tell me over and over that multitudes of failures will finally lead to success and that the journey is more important that the accomplishment. Even though I believe you, I can’t apply that sentiment to my own life. My fears of failure or mediocrity paralyze me into inaction.
Yoda knew before Luke entered into training that the boy would face some of his greatest fears. When Luke had to look in the eyes of his worst enemy – Darth Vader, he did so first in training. Yoda hoped to give him strength and confidence.
We can tell the world that we aren’t scared, but in the darkest, most hidden places of our hearts, we find our fears. Oh, we will be afraid. We will be afraid.
The question we have to answer is what we do with that? Will we allow it to swallow us up or will we keep moving forward, even if it requires employing the help of our friends and family to open doors for us?
I have a lot of things I would love to do and when I let my fears take over, I do none of them. When I recognize them for the ridiculous notions that they are … I move forward.
John tells us that pefect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18) I think I will continue to seek out perfect love instead of trying to accomplish my goals. I’m betting that both will come to me in tandem.