This sermon was submitted for today's open sermon slot by Apprentice SeanChing. We thank him for contributing to the spiritual life of the Temple in this way and for the work that he has put into writing, submitting and discussing his sermon prior to this publication.
Whether or not you are a believer in the Mayan Calendar's overly-hyped prediction, or just slightly familiar with it, you would know that the supposed end of the world was scheduled for December 21st, 2012, this past Holiday Season. Wild and varying predictions ranging from horrific natural disasters, to the mass extinction of all life, even to the transcendence of ultimate human enlightenment, to the second coming of Christ were proposed. Whether or not people were fearful or excited about this, all believers felt that life would not be the same after that day. Well, today is January 6th, 2013, which means we, as individuals and as a human race, have survived and been spared of this potential doomsday. It almost seems as if this is too good to be true; as if each day that we wake up to now is an extra day proving our survival against a world-destroying event.
Many years ago, a certain notable individual felt this way as well, although he was not at all notable at the time and probably didn’t imagine how famous and influential he would be to all sorts of people nowadays. George Lucas was a lazy High School student with very little direction and motivation in life. However, his view of life changed when he got into a serious vehicle accident and survived. In an interview saved in the Academy of Achievement, George Lucas told his story of how surviving that life-altering event led him to pursue his education more seriously, which would later lead him into social sciences, psychology, anthropology, and eventually, filmmaking. It’s no wonder how George Lucas ended up figuring out such a richly diverse Star Wars fictional universe full of so much culture and mythology. In that specific interview, George Lucas said,
“I realized more than anything else what a thin thread we hang on in life, and I really wanted to make something out of my life. And I was in an accident that, in theory, no one could survive. So it was like, ‘Well I'm here, and every day now is an extra day. I've been given an extra day so I've got to make the most of it.’ And then the next day I began with two extra days. And I've sort of -- you can't help in that situation but get into a mindset like that, which is you've been given this gift and every single day is a gift, and I wanted to make the most of it.”
George Lucas is not our leader, nor are his films the basis of our Jedi beliefs. However, it’s fairly obvious that he’s a great storyteller, and I feel both his Star Wars story and his personal story are very relevant and meaningful. We are each still very fortunate to wake up and thrive in a world that remains healthy and beautiful and, if you believed in the Mayan prediction, we have all survived what could have been catastrophic. So, like George Lucas, each day that we wake up to and enjoy is yet another extra day: a real bonus. I encourage each of you to view your days through this perspective. After all, Mayan or not, each day really is an extra-bonus day.