There’s a definite trend here.
Now that my kids know I’m a Star Wars fan, I get a new piece of Star Wars memorabilia for one of my presents every birthday and every Christmas. So far, the presents range from Star-Wars-nerd stuff (like the 1977-throwback luggage tag with a picture of R2D2 and C3PO that says, “This is not the bag you’re looking for”) to an angsty coffee mug showing the many emotions of Darth Vader (just wait, you’ll get it in a moment).
But the last two presents in a row have been consistent. And they both involve Yoda.
I’ve not explored with my second son why he gave me a picture of an origami Yoda. Or why anyone would ever even think to make an origami Yoda.
Nor have I asked my youngest daughter why she painted for me something she saw on Pinterest (“Yoda best dad in the galaxy” – again, don’t worry, you’ll get it).
Perhaps my nearly bald head brings Yoda to their minds. I’ve always told the kids that I get the fastest haircuts in town, because I only have five hairs to cut.
Then again, maybe it’s my unusual speech pattern. I took German in high school, and the strange syntax the Germans use has never quite left me. My kids love it when I say the words “not eight” in German. Ask a friend who knows German to say it for you — and be sure to stand back several feet.
Or maybe, it’s just because I’m old (at least I’m old to them).
But I’d like to think they picked Yoda because of what he meant to Luke Skywalker in the early Star Wars pictures. Yoda was like the father Luke never knew, imparting wisdom into the young man’s life that he would need to face his calling. And while Yoda wasn’t perfect, and “young Skywalker” didn’t always follow Yoda’s leadership, in the end he saw the wisdom of Yoda’s teaching and fulfilled his destiny.
Star Wars isn’t real – but God is. And for my wife and I, our goal has always been to obey God by raising each of our children in the way he or she should go, so that when they are older, they will not depart from it. (See Proverbs 22:6.)
So while I may have secretly wanted my kids to see me as the swashbuckling Han Solo (Harrison Ford still looks great at 70+, am I right?), if I need to be a Yoda to help them run the race that the God of the universe has set before them, then I’ll take that.
Any day. Any galaxy.