Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Beauty of Long-suffering
We live in a culture of instant gratification. It is not uncommon to become impatient and angry when your text message doesn’t send instantaneously. When you favorite Netflix show doesn’t play right when you click it, it is madness. Patience and waiting is a thing that for many of us is intolerable.
Long-suffering is simply unacceptable.
Is it ever good to be patient, forbearing, tolerant, and even loving when you are not being responded to the same way? For Obi-Wan Kenobi, that answer is a resounding yes. Here is why.
Star Wars fans obviously know the story that Obi-Wan is on Tatooine for about 19 years watching over Luke as he grows from a baby to a young man. Obi-Wan puts his life on hold and devotes himself to protecting Luke so that Luke can grow up to fulfill his destiny. Obi-Wan is willing to let go of any selfish ambition that he may have and give his time to Luke. There is a nobility to that and something beautiful.
Obi-Wan is not really allowed to come around Luke because of the tension that exists between Uncle Owen and Obi-Wan (see the Star Wars Comic from Marvel for more about that relationship). He spends his time living an isolated life. He does this all for the sake of someone else and for the greater good of the galaxy.
What is compelling about Obi-Wan is that when he comes in close contact with Luke he mentors* him in such a beautiful way. It is amazing that he is willing to die for Luke and his friends. The culmination of his long-suffering is his own sacrifice. There is a striking beauty in that. I think one of the reasons why people love Obi-Wan is that he has a willingness to think of others before he thinks of himself. Deep down many people desire to be humble and when we see that characteristic play out in a character on film we find it inspiring.
Long-suffering in our lives
While Obi-Wan is not perfect, his actions give us a moment to reflect on long-suffering. What place does it have in our own culture and lives? Would things be a little bit better if we made long-suffering a part of our lives?
In Star Wars Obi-Wan gives us that answer and that answer is yes. Now, the question is what do we do with that?
*Click here to read Devin’s take on Obi-Wan as a mentor. Excellent stuff.