The Peaceful Warrior

worfWorf will always be my favorite character from Star Trek. Okay, I have a lot of respect for Captain Picard and Captain Sisko as well, but there’s something about Worf that just draws me in. Worf has lived his life out of place. Worf was from the high ranking family The House of Mogh. Yet his family’s honor was forever tarnished when his father was accused of giving information to the Romulans (one of the many enemies of the Klingons) who then attacked the colony Khitomer. Worf was one of the only survivors.

Worf was then adopted by the Rozhenkos (ro-shenk-kos) family and lived on the small colony of Gault. He spent time going back to his family’s homeland of Minsk (oddly enough, it was at one time part of the Soviet Union to which the Klingons from the original series represented…but I digress). He was out of place. An alien amongst humans. Not just that, but a one time enemy of humans living amongst humans. Even more so, a warrior born, a fighting spirit in his DNA, and yet having to live peacefully amongst humans who were so different than he.

Always out of place.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG), Worf is on the security team and then becomes the chief security officer. You have a born warrior, born for battle, having to ensure peace. This was a constant struggle for him. He lived in the tension between who he was born to be and who he was supposed to be.

Then, after ST:TNG went off the air, Worf joined Captain Benjamin Sisko on the space station Deep Space 9 (DS9)  to work along side the shape-shift constable Odo. Once again, Worf was to ensure peace. Even when the Federation went to war against the Dominion (aliens from the other side of the wormhole who…just check out the Wikipedia page on Deep Space 9). In short, even as a warrior, he had to temper himself. He couldn’t go all out as a warrior as his inner-self wanted to, to do what his DNA screamed for him to do. He lived in constant tension.

As I reflect on this and my own spiritual walk, I think of my own tension I live in. It’s that tension between doing what every fiber in my being says I should, and doing what I know is right. It’s a struggle to say the least.

Paul writes of this struggle in Romans

For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.” Romans 7:15, 19

For me, my life changed while I was in high school and I decided to follow Jesus (if you asked my mom, I asked Jesus into my hart as a little kid, I don’t remember that, I’m glad she does). My life didn’t change in an instant. I still constantly struggled with who I once was and who I was supposed to be. I fell constantly into the old trappings of how I once lived. I’d fall and then claw my way back up again only to fall once more.

Fighting snacking like a KlingonWorf always seemed to have better self control then what I did when I was in high school and into college. I struggled. Watching old episodes of ST:TNG and DS9, I begin to see the struggles of Worf. His struggle to regain his honor and the honor of his family. His struggle to be a father who constantly fails as a father. His struggle between who he wants to be and who he is inside.

This is my struggle as well. And I have the bad habit of beating myself up over it.

And then I’m reminded of these words

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

and

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free fro the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

Like Worf, I’ll always live in the tension between the two worlds I have lived in. Worf knew a loving family who cared for him and tried to teach him the ways of peace, and he also had his warrior side which wanted to burst out with a bat’leth. Much like Worf though, it’s what I do in living that tension.

I choose to live as the new creation without condemnation of my past. My past does not define me, Jesus does. I am a new creation and will try to live that way in the midst of the tensions of my life. K’plah!

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