…Space… the final frontier.
Oh how I loved those words every week when my television speakers announced the beginning of Star Trek! The original series…not the new ones!
I was mesmerized by the adventures of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scottie and that adorable Chekov. For one hour I was whisked away into science fiction fantasy. It was unpardonable to miss an episode. You would be shamed at the water cooler by the other fourth graders if you were not savvy on the previous night’s story line. You had to watch. There was no internet to log on to and read about the show. It was live or die!
What wonderful memories! What great creativity! What fuel to motivate so much of our current conveniences! It was everything a nine year old needed.
But Gene Roddenberry’s series did more than tantalize my adventuresome spirit, it piqued my soul. The show began training me to look deeper. I learned to draw parallels between fiction and fact. Like a high-tech C.S. Lewis, symbolism and hidden meanings crept up from the pages of the script every week.
I remember one episode where the crew beamed onto an apparently deserted planet that had issued a distress signal. What they discovered was the settlers had become infected by the water and it accelerated them. At that speed their lives were shorted and their men had become infertile. If they were to survive, they needed new men.
Kirk only had one hour to resolve their problem. Unfortunately, he could not provide them with the help they needed. Sadly, they died and their race became extinct. As attractive has the heroine was, Kirk’s loyalty was to Star Fleet and his oath as a ship’s captain…not his emotions.
Hidden in that story line was the Gospel message. A planet in distress could only be saved if someone entered their reality. Had Kirk made that choice, it would have cost him his life.
Kirk was not immortal. He could not transcend his human limitations and rescue this dying society. Yet, his actions exemplified commitment to a cause greater than himself.
I remember the implied agony and sacrifice Kirk experienced in his decision. As a child I began to learn that being mature meant doing the right thing, despite how you feel about it.
In the original Star Trek, there were no situational ethics. There was simply right and wrong. It was an excellent show for an emerging soul.
Today “faux-tolerance” is the rule of the day. Instead of a clear understanding of our “prime directive” to “win souls and make disciples” we too often follow the desires of our flesh. When we sow to the flesh, we reap corruption.
Kirk’s soul may have desired to spend his shorted life making love to the beautiful blonde on that dying planet. Kirk’s spirit remembered the prime directive. It was the compass that guided his every decision.
…oh that we, as members of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, could be as committed in our time and space….
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