Have you been keeping up with the Bad Batch? Each Friday for the past 2 moths we’ve been getting updates about an abnormal group of clones in the Star Wars galaxy as they seek to meander through the craziness of the baby Empire. After the Empire gave orders to wipe out civilians, and without a Republic they believe in, Clone Force 99 is forced to go off the grid and survive any way they can. These clones include Hunter who has enhanced sensory abilities, Wrecker who has super strength, Tech who has enhanced intelligence, and Echo, a clone from the Rex’s group that has now been altered to be somewhat of a technopath, meaning he can interface with computers and work without a keyboard. They have gained a new friend in the form of Omega, the only female clone who is still very young, but they left behind Crosshair, who has a penchant for aiming well and has become fully devoted to the Empire because of the inhibitor chip in his head.
In episode 5 they met a female trandoshan named Cid. Cid owns a pub that acts as a front for her real business as a broker for under the radar events such as bounties, weapons sales, and missions to “recover” items or people. She had been a contact for the Jedi during the Clone Wars. The team finds itself in her debt for both aid and physical needs like food and shelter. She sends them out on runs that include stealing intelligence from an Empire compound, rescuing a young rancor owned by Jabba the Hutt, and getting a separatist senator off an Imperial controlled planet after he spoke out against the Empire.
Hunter seems to have the hardest time adapting in this new situation. He knows the direction the Empire was starting down was bad and dishonorable, but he has clearly felt a lack of purpose. Doing jobs just to get paid is frustrating for him and he misses the days when the Republic sent them on the most serious missions because they could handle the worst situations. He sees himself and the team as soldiers not as mercenaries.
Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” You may know what this felt like for Hunter. Perhaps you left or lost a job and had a long time without one. Maybe you have a job, but your boss doesn’t cast a vision and you feel lost. Maybe you are just going through the motions. Perhaps it is more than just an employment issue. Do you have income but feel a lack of calling? Are you lost running endless errands, getting laundry done, and feeling like the day to day motions are pointless?
The clones gained their purpose from the Republic. Without it they don’t have much. They are just trying to survive in an angry galaxy amid the turmoil of a huge political transition. New laws, new expectations set to control the populace, but no honor in the new government. Laws and control don’t grant purpose. Vision is warm, encouraging, hopeful. Control is cold, demanding, uncaring. Vision builds unity through inspiration while Control forces compliance through fear.
The second half of Proverbs 29:18 tells us “…but he that keepeth the law, he is happy” (NASB). Does that sound weird to you? The law was God’s expectations for Israel. It included rules for political nation and laws for all of us. In the days of the Old Testament the Law was seen very differently than we see it now. Psalm 119,longest chapter in the Bible, is all about the law, but it isn’t a law of Control, but of love. The law is “a lamp to my feet, a light to my path” (vs. 105). It grants wisdom (vs. 98) and understanding (vs. 100 & 104). This can seem a confusing to us. Isn’t this the law that talks about sacrifices? The law that commands the killing of animals because we aren’t good enough? The old covenant did require that. But it also ordered that Israel take care of the downtrodden, the widows, the orphans. It told us “do not steal” to protect us from theft but it also told farmers to leave portions of their crops unpicked so the poor among them could pick them and thus take away any need to steal.
We see the law and we think of control, not freedom. But what did God himself do for us?
In the New Testament we find out the law can’t fix us. Romans 3:23 points out that “all of have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” It tells us what is wrong, even points us to God, but we need more. Jesus told us that he came to fulfill the law and that not even the smallest letter of it would pass away (Matthew 5:17-18). Hebrews 10:12 tells us that Christ fulfilled the requirements of the sacrifices on our behalf. Most importantly, John 1 tells us that “in the beginning the Word was with God…and became flesh and dwelt among us.”
Sometimes we want God to give us purpose when He Himself is the purpose. He might give us missions and opportunities and we should do that work. He might work miracles of healing and grace for us. But ultimately Jesus is our purpose, not the missions or the orders or the miracles. He started a new covenant to meet us Himself. One of relationship and grace.
Life is a lot of transitions. When you feel lost because of a transition, simply look to Jesus. He might not fill it they way you want him to, but He will still fill it if you trust Him. Remember He is the purpose. This means finding a rhythm for spending time with Him in prayer and Bible reflection on a regular basis.
In the middle of their adventures there are two purposes for them to choose. Omega has a lot of learning to do and there are people after her. There is also the fight against the Empire. They are doing well with Omega but have been more resistant about joining the fight against the Empire on a more serious level. I encourage you to look around you. What is Jesus doing around you that you can join with Him in pursuing? Making Jesus your purpose also includes spending taking on His heart for the world. It might include mentoring someone or helping a ministry at your church.