I watched the Star Wars movies with my son this past summer. All of them. My favorite of all is the 5th movie, Empire Strikes Back. Mainly because that’s the movie where we first meet Yoda. Something about the little, green dude just intrigues me. Watching the scene again where Yoda trains Luke to be a Jedi master, I remembered why I’ve had such a crush on this unlikely hero all these years. Yoda asks Luke to lift his sinking spacecraft out of the Dogoban marsh using only the power of the force. Luke tries and tries again to do so, but just can’t seem to make it happen. Finally, Luke gives up in frustration and sulks off saying it can’t be done. Yoda takes one look at Luke, sticks out his funky green fingers and proceeds to lift the spacecraft up, up out of the marsh and then lower if gently down on dry land. Luke look on in amazement and exclaims, “I don’t believe it.” Yoda looks at Luke wisely and says, “And that is why you fail.”
When these words came of of Yoda’s mouth this summer, they proceeded to keep on moving past the TV screen to punch me in the gut. So many times I am Luke, ready to give up because I just don’t believe something is even possible. I remember a particular trip to Greece when we were visiting my brother and his family there. As usual we had experienced some sort of delay on the first leg of our trip that had caused us to miss a connection for our flight across the Atlantic. I don’t remember how many hours and taxis and airports this delay included (international travel is not near as glamorous as it seems), but I do remember it being complicated. At some point when we were at our new airport in Newark, NJ waiting to board the plane, I looked at my husband and confessed to him that I didn’t think we would ever make it to Greece. I was just about as dejected and whiny as Luke on Dogoba when I said it. I should also admit that I am not a fan of air travel, so the concept of a metal tube filled with people hurtling over the ocean is on its own quite mystifying to me. But in this moment of disbelief my dear husband just looked at me firmly but patiently and said, “I believe we will make it.” And we did. It was a long and bumpy ride, but we made it to Greece and had a wonderful trip exploring and spending time with family.
I’ve been retelling these stories to myself recently because I am gearing up for a different kind of trip. For some time I have wanted to write. To write as in this blog, but also to write something larger and more permanent. Like a book. I actually have two completed manuscripts saved in my computer that I have never gotten up the gumption to submit to anyone. Because I didn’t believe that it was possible for me to be published. It would be too hard, too long of a journey. Too many missed connections already. But after months and years of disbelief in myself, others, and God, I have decided to change course. To repent of my disbelief.
So I am trying again to believe. My husband and I have been working on a book proposal that we completed over the weekend and will send off early this coming week to a contest sponsored by a writing conference. We finished the last step today when we had a friend take this picture at church and then pasted into our document (I guess it matters what we look like). I do not know if the proposal will win or even make the top ten, but we are going to give it a go. Because if I don’t believe we have a chance then I’m really going nowhere. Just stuck in Jersey with a spaceship sunk in the marsh. And I think God is calling us somewhere better than that. For ours is a God who sends angels to tell us that nothing is impossible with God. To proclaim that we should buckle up for though the ride may be long and bumpy, the destination is well worth the trip.