“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
We all want to be the hero. Whether it’s a feeling we admit out loud or an uncensored thought that we quickly hush at night, we are attracted to epic stories for a reason.
We want to be in Captain Kirk’s chair—to lean thoughtfully to the right, bring our hand to our chin, and give the command, “Warp factor one, Mr. Sulu.” (Of course, none of us know what a “warp factor” is, but man does it sound legit to say.)
We feel a pull towards the bravery, boldness, strength of Kirk as he leads his crew into battle with a seemingly unconquerable foe. We want to exude that confidence and optimism. We want to save the world, and give people hope.
But then the lights come on. We leave the theater, and maybe say, “I’m going to be my own hero this week. I’m going to take charge, to exude swagger and confidence. I’m going to be [insert the name of hero here].” Now, I’ve always had a vivid imagination, but whether you admit it or not, this desire to become the hero lives within all of us…
…yet, it’s easy for us to let reality kill it. We get sucked into the routine of daily life. We get overwhelmed by our challenges. We say, “I’m facing all of these struggles. There’s no way I can be a hero, I can hardly keep my head above water.”
It’s like Captain Kirk saying, “Aw, yeah, you’re right. I don’t know if we’ll be able to beat them—they’ve got better technology and more manpower. Let’s just surrender to the enemy.” (Because most of us don’t turn away from our problems altogether, but allow ourselves to be consumed by them.)
A hero would never say that.
You are a hero. You should never say that.
How can you reclaim your “captain’s chair”, and be the hero of your own story?
Here’s three lessons we learn from Captain James T. Kirk (or any hero) that apply to real life:
- You are on a mission.
As a Christian, you were put here for a purpose. Every moment of every day, you are in the midst of an incredibly real war being waged for the earth and, most importantly, the souls of its inhabitants. You’ve been placed here as a soldier of the King—an almighty, all-knowing divine ruler who gives you the battle plans and ensures your victory. And this King is despised by a very real, incredibly dark and dangerous enemy who wants nothing more than to see your demise, and to cripple you so that you can’t help those around you.
You must realize that your life doesn’t just consist of your “home, work, gym, home” routine—dulling you to the real situation is a ploy of the enemy. As long as the enemy can keep you inwardly focused, you’re a non-factor in the war. But God has made you an heir, a commander. You wield His authority, and act in His name. Just like our heroes, you bring light to a world of darkness. You are powerful. The opposition and struggle you face means you are a factor in the war—or else there would be no reason for your adversary to try to take you out.
- You have an origin story.
In fact, if you’re like me, you’re in the middle of your origin story. Captain Kirk wasn’t promoted to captain of the Enterprise without first having learned how to fight, how to strategize, how to effectively take on and defeat your enemies. For us, these enemies may not be Romulans (almost definitely won’t be), but may be uncertainties with your job or finances, relational conflict, or other trying situations. In the words of James T. Kirk, “You must learn before you reach for the stars.” and “A little suffering is good for the soul.”
You can’t get to the climax of the story without going through the crisis in the story. It equips us and strengthens us to stand up in the face of the enemy and, to one day, be able to protect and save others, too. Only after the origin story can we take the captain’s chair. Attack each day like it’s one more step on your way there—you write the outcome of your own origin story.
- Your mission is to bring hope.
To quote Commander Spock, “We find hope in the impossible.” And in life, sometimes it can seem we are in impossible situations. There is no way out, there is no way to win…
…wait, that sounds familiar. It’s the plot of every good movie—when it seems all hope is lost, the hero is able to find a way. The best movies are the ones that have a plot twist at the very last second, where you can’t see the solution coming from a mile away. Yet, in real life, if we can’t see the solution at the beginning of the challenge, we often give up. We don’t keep fighting. We surrender. And then, we’ve failed in our mission.
We have hope, because God has assured us victory in all things. And that, in every struggle, He will never allow us to have to tackle more than we can bear. 1st Corinthians says, “All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.”
With such victory assured, He’s given you the mission of taking this hope to others, too. To liberate those who are being held captive by their circumstances or past. To bring the news of His salvation to anyone and everyone—anywhere and everywhere. He alone has the power to save, and He has entrusted you alone with your specific mission (the people and situations around you) to do what nobody else can, and to make a difference nobody else can in the war for the Kingdom.
It’s your turn to boldly go into tomorrow—a place where no man has gone before, and nobody else but you will go in your shoes—to explore His world, to seek out His plans, and to be the hero on a mission, His mission.
Live long and prosper.