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The Force

October 16, 2012

This October, Jess and the boys put up orange Halloween lights, along with some pumpkin signs and some spider webs, to get our house decked out for the big night at the end of the month.  One night Colby looked at me, “Hey dad – look some of the orange lights are out.”

“I will have to take a look at that.”  A couple of days go by.. “Dad, remember you are supposed to fix the Halloween lights.”  Finally I went out and got the strand working again.  OK so all I had to do was move the strand a little bit and the lights came right back on.  I tell Colby to come and look.  “How did you do that Dad?”

“I used the Force.”  I replied.

“You can’t use the Force.”  Colby responded.

“Yes I can, I am a Jedi Master.”

“Ok so move me with the force.”  I walked up gave him a little push on the shoulder.  “See you moved, I used the Force.”

“DAAAAD, that is not the Force, you can’t touch me!”

Cade then gets into the action, “Dad, my turn, use the Force on me.”  I do the same thing to him this time.  “See you are not a Jedi Master, you had to touch me!”

“I can read your mind.”  I reply.

“OK so what am I thinking?”  Cade asks.  “That I am not a Jedi Master.”    “DAAAAD!”

I stand there confused, how can two kids who still think that Santa Claus is real, doubt that me, their Dad, is not a Jedi Master?  Come on, what is more believable? – Really Santa Claus and flying reindeer or me a Jedi Knight?

So maybe I am not a Jedi Master and there are not Mediclorines, but what the Force does require is belief and trust.  If you don’t think you can, then you can’t, even with the Force.  We watched Episode IV – The Empire Strikes Back the other day.  There is a great scene in which Yoda is training Luke.  Luke is supposed to raise his X-wing out of the swamp.  Luke starts to move the ship, but then he starts to think the ship is too big, that he is not powerful enough, doubts creep in, he loses his concentration and fails.  That is where we learn two of the great Star Wars quotes from Yoda:  “Size matters not.” and “Do or Do not, there is no Try.”  Yoda shows Luke that he needs to trust and not doubt.  Of course Yoda moves the X-wing out of the swamp with ease – and he is a 900 year-old little green dude.

Too many times we all start out with big plans, big ambitions, things start out great, we are going to take on the world.  But then it starts to get dark, the wind starts up, the chill blows in, we stop focusing on the task at hand and start to look around, our concentration suffers, we lose our way.  We are now lost, afraid, alone, in the dark.  We are capable of making it out of the woods, but we let fear take over.  We give up, we falter – we become afraid.  That is when things unravel and fall apart.  We convince ourselves that we are not able, not strong enough, not good enough, not fast enough, not smart enough, too young, too old, just not up to the task.  The truth is that we are, we just need to believe that we are.  We need to keep away the doubters, all the things that pull us down and tell us that we can’t.

Cancer is a doubter, it tells us that we can’t, that it is not worth it, that we should just throw in the towel.  But the truth is all we need to do is believe and it will crumble.  It will move because of our minds.  All we can do is decide, each day  – “Not this day cancer, I am bigger than you.”  We just believe, and take it one day at a time.

Will it always work?  Many would say no, because there are some times in which that is not enough, the cancer defeats the body.  But I say yes, it will always work  because though it may take my body, if I trust and believe, it will never win.

Round 11 of 12 of chemotherapy started yesterday. I will be honest, my body doesn’t feel as strong as it once did, I have been feeling more nausea than in prior day ones of earlier rounds and my last round was the most physically demanding yet.  I am not as fit, I am more tired than ever – even at my peak between cycles.

But I still think I can move the X-Wing out of the swamp – change that to, I know I can move that X-Wing out of the swamp.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. anna sotelo permalink
    October 16, 2012 7:56 am

    May the force be with you, young jedi!

  2. Joan permalink
    October 16, 2012 9:26 am

    I have been following your progress for months now, and I find myself humbled by your thoughts, as I don’t have any of the things in my life like the cancer with which you are dealing. You noticed that I used the word “dealing” because you, unlike me, “deal” with things. You are not “fighting” it. When things go wrong in my life, I “fight”! That “fighting” just makes me more agitated and angry because I don’t want to have to go “through” anything. I just want it stopped, and now!

    In Ephesians 6, we’re told to put on the full armor of God. In the New American Standard version of the Bible, words are used like “stand,” “struggle,” and “resist.” Your Force, Jesus Christ, already won the “fight.” I’m SO glad that no matter what may happen to us Jesus is at the “end of the tunnel,” so to speak, not letting us stand alone here on earth. Victory is always on our side.

    I’m standing, struggling, resisting with you and depending on The Force!

  3. Philip permalink
    October 26, 2012 6:47 pm

    Well, you’re still stronger and more fit than I am….in so many ways. Thank you for always adding perspective and for being such an inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are still with you and I miss the early morning car rides in to work.

    In a few years you won’t be able to move Cade just by pushing his shoulder, you will need the force.

  4. Cameron Von St. James permalink
    October 30, 2012 6:24 am


    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?



    P.S. – May the force be with you!

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