In this week’s podcast, we dive back into Star Wars Universe to look at several quotes from Yoda. As it often happens in our faith journey, mentors come and go. We see this happen in The Empire Strikes Back; where at the bidding of Obi Wan, Luke ventures to Dagobah to seek instruction from Jedi Master Yoda. Yoda offers up three key pieces of wisdom that have parallels to our faith: “Do or do not, there is no try”, “That is why you fail”, and “The force is my ally, and a powerful ally it is”1.

Do or Do Not, There Is No Try

So often we think of faith as mana from a video game. Something that we can increase as we ‘level up’ in our Christian walk or that we can exhaust as we go through our day. The reality is that faith is not a commodity. It’s not something that we can use up. What Yoda points out here is that Luke can either trust the Force or not. There is no in between. We see this illustrated in a conversation between Jesus and the disciples. “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you’2. Jesus is pointing out here that the size of faith isn’t what matters; its that you have faith.

 That Is Why You Fail

So often we look at the size of something and assume that we have to have a faith that it of comparable size. This is the way that Luke looks at moving the x-wing. He sees only the size of the ship sinking into a massive swamp in comparison to his own physical size. Luke shows that he doesn’t understand the Force that he is trusting in. Both Yoda (and Jesus are saying that when you are looking at the size of something and questioning your faith, you are failing to see what you are putting your faith in. Our eyes are not the best judges of character. It is so easy for us to assume that because something is great, it can only be accomplished by something or someone that is equally great or powerful. The reality is that within small things can be great things. “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you?”3. If we allow what we see to determine our faith then we really don’t have faith. “For we live by faith, not by sight” 4.

The Force Is My Ally

Yoda puts no stock size. He looks solely at what his trust is in, the Force. Our faith isn’t dependent in our size or our strength. Faith is us giving up our trust in those things and instead entirely trusting God. When we understand this, we move past seeing God as some kind of cosmic vending machine that will give us what we want if we put in the right amount of faith and push the right numbers. Faith isn’t about having God on our side. God doesn’t takes sides. He has his own side. It’s matter of whether or not we are on His side.

All of these quotes boil down to one idea. Faith is a choice. There are no half measures. When we recognize this, faith becomes real. We get to see God walking with us through our day. Our faith becomes something that is present with us not just something that we are hoping for in the future.

 


  1. The Empire Strikes Back. Dir. Irvin Kershner. By Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. Perf. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 1980. DVD.                           
  2. Luke 17:5-6 NIV 
  3.  The Empire Strikes Back. Dir. Irvin Kershner. By Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. Perf. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 1980. DVD.  
  4. 2 Cor 5:7 NIV 
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