November 7, 2010

Slice of PIE: “Operation Annihilate”

One of my all-time favorite STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES episodes has the same title as this blog entry. I’ve never been sure why I liked the episode, except that it was clearly filmed on location at some very futuristic looking college campus somewhere (actually, the Redondo Beach, CA aerospace HQ of the defunct TRW Corporation). To my young mind, it looked exactly as a colony on an alien world should look – neat, clean and full of people excited to be establishing a Human presence is space – with just enough alien threat to make it interesting.

Yet recently, the episode came to mind as a parable of my journey with the Holy Spirit. The “neural parasites” that attack the colony on Devena infiltrate the Human nervous system and force them to work for them by building ships so the hive can spread. When one of them attacks Spock and fills him with its nervous system, he must constantly fight to resist its directions to do the bidding of the hive mind.

This is a perfect metaphor for my struggles with the Holy Spirit.

I have surrendered to Jesus and experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit. But God is NOT a slave driver. The Father and the Son are NOT a hive mind. They will NOT overwhelm me to destroy my free will. Instead, they remind me of their presence in every choice I make and they seek to influence me to do God’s will.

As Spock fights the alien hive’s influence, I know I struggle against the Holy Spirit’s influence. Oh, I stop at times, during worship, especially or when I’m down, want something from God, when I’m in over my head, I back off and let the Holy Spirit control me. I used to characterize it as my “struggle against Satan”.

I’ve recently come to realize that my struggles are not so noble. I struggle instead against the influence of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s words: “For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 17: 22-25)

I’d always interpreted these words to be about my noble, righteous, God-loving, worthy struggle against sin and the power of evil. But I’ve learned that the Hebrews didn’t necessarily see the world as spirit on this side and flesh on that. Theirs was a world of unity. So even though Paul speaks as if the two are separate, his words might just as well refer to my vulgar, self-righteous, God-ambivalent, sin-crusted, struggle against God’s will and the Holy Spirit in my life.

My everyday danger is that I discover, like Spock, a way to destroy the influence of the alien; the Holy Spirit living in me.

Like Paul says in verse 13, “May it never be!”



Sue Griffith said...

Good writing. I love the way you go from visions of Star Trek into your walk with God. But it built up and ended too soon!

GuyStewart said...

Thank you, much, Sue! I DO love my Star Trek, and it has made a profound impact in my life as a writer as well as a person of faith! Thanks for reading! I'll most likely come back to this subject as I've been reading Romans slowly and carefully lately!