All you Trekkies out there, let your Geek flags fly. Yeah..you know what I’m talkin ‘bout! Fist bump! To all of you unfortunate souls for whom that title has no meaning, the Kobayashi Maru is a fictional test in the Star Trek fantastical universe. This particular test is actually a training exercise designed to test the character of all of the cadets under Starfleet command. The goal of the exercise is to rescue the disabled civilian vessel Kobayashi Maru crew – endangering their own ship and lives – or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction. If the cadet chooses to attempt rescue, the simulation is designed to guarantee that the ship is destroyed with the loss of all crew members.
It is the classic no-win scenario. The computer is allowed to “cheat” to guarantee defeat of all those who attempt to find a solution. When one of the cadets protests the unfairness of such a test in not allowing her to demonstrate her leadership skills, Kirk explains that the test is “meant to reveal how the subject deals with a no-win scenario, as how one deals with death is as important as how one deals with life”. We later find out that Capt. Kirk had actually beaten the test. He cheated and reprogrammed the simulator so that a solution was possible.
A no win scenario…is there seriously anything more painful and frustrating than to be found in a situation whereby you analyze all the possible options and they all portend an unfavorable outcome, even when they are not life or death. I have found that sometimes we paint ourselves into that corner, and other times someone places us squarely inside it. However one arrives, each perceived direction leads to a wrongful step in word, action, or thought. It is a time of realizing our limitations. How can a no-win scenario be anything but negative? Have you ever been there? I am finding myself is that space.
However, I have decided that perhaps this is my Kobayashi Maru. Maybe it is a test of my character. Maybe the outcome isn’t the important part of the test, maybe my reaction to the no-win is. Unlike Captain Kirk, I cannot cheat and reprogram the situation, but I can honestly reprogram the way I see it. I can look at it from God’s viewpoint. I can see my test as an opportunity for growth.
This thought is huge for me , because up until now, when I find myself painted in the proverbial corner, I pick an option with the least undesirable outcome and forge ahead knowing that I will take grenade hits along the way and maybe lob a few myself. Always casualties. By seeing it as a test of my character, I have actually created another option. I can embrace it and rejoice in my suffering and allow it to forge my character.
I would never define myself as a mature follower of Christ…but I am matur-ING. It is in this process of maturing that I find that I don’t have to move in any direction to find the solution; I can stand still and know that God’s love has been poured into my heart and resides there waiting to give counsel. I will not rely on my own instincts, I defer to His. I guess Captain Kirk was right about the test, it is how I am dealing with death … of my human-ness … so that I can have new life in Him.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us ~ Romans 5:3-5