A Pepper Grinder Post

Lessons from Chirrut

Do you know who Chirrut is? If not, don't feel bad. I saw Rogue One with my family a while back and had this idea for writing a piece about the blind warrior-monk in the movie. However, until I searched online, I had no idea what the guy's name was. In case you haven't seen the movie, I'll just tell you that Chirrut is a monk in the Jedi holy city of Jedha who becomes part of a group of people working to steal the plans for the Death Star being built by the Empire. This movie brings us up to the point in the very first Star Wars movie made (now known as A New Hope) where Princess Leia receives the plans for the Death Star and sends them off via the robot R2-D2 to Obi Wan Kenobi.

Chirrut was my favorite character in Rogue One. I liked that he was funny and didn't take himself too seriously. Also, he was an amazing fighter, able to do superhuman feats like defeating a whole crowd of armed storm troopers with nothing but a staff, or bringing down a TIE fighter at the exact right moment so that it crashed into an Empire control tower. And he does all this while being blind!

ChirrutWhat is this guy's secret? It should come as no surprise to anyone even casually acquainted with the Star Wars movies that Chirrut's secret weapon is the Force. At a number of times in the movie we hear Chirrut chanting his mantra: "I am one with the Force. The Force is with me." Okay, I can picture someone thinking, "The Force?!? Doesn't Pepper know that the Force is based on the eastern religious concept of Yin and Yang, with both a light and a dark side? Is Pepper really going to compare the Creator of the universe, who is wholly GOOD, with that?" Good question. No, I'm not. On the other hand, I do think we can make a useful comparison between how Chirrut used the Force and how we can be open to the Holy Spirit.

Think about it. People like Samson or Elisha did some amazing things through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, of course, is the ultimate example of the power of someone who is filled with the Spirit. But I think there is one big requirement for someone to be powerfully used by the Spirit: they have to know they need that power.

Why was Samson hesitant to tell Delilah about the source of his strength? Because he knew that without that supernatural strength, he would be weak and vulnerable. Why did Elisha make the request that when Elijah died, he would receive a double portion of Elijah's spirit? Because he knew he didn't have the spiritual power he saw working in Elijah. And why did Chirrut rely so completely on the guidance of the Force? Because he knew he was blind.

Some people in the modern church have decided that God's power is only manifested in certain, limited ways. Others, no matter what they might say, don't act as though they need God's power. They have their plans and their programs, and they're determined to use those tools to help bring God's kingdom to fulfillment. I imagine that many of all these people have good motives, and I'm not saying God can't use them at all. On the other hand, I think for God to use people fully, they must know their need for God and his power.

I'm not saying that everyone who is truly relying on the Spirit of God will be going around performing amazing miracles. I think some might be, but others might be doing things that look more mundane. I believe God empowered me and my wife to have eight kids. I often feel God's presence when I write this blog, and sometimes when I solve a computer problem at work. That may not sound exciting, but I truly believe that when we know we need God's power, and are open to that working through us, we will see things happening that we could not have done on our own. We will be able to say, "I am with the Lord. The Lord is with me."


*Photo Credits: Chirrut from .