Posted by on April 8, 2013

Kobayashi Maru–a term used in the popular TV/Movie Series, Star Trek, which refers to a  “no-win” scenario in which every attempt at improvement or victory is countered by another force.

A no-win situation in which the only way to victory is to change the foundation of the situation. Some might refer to this “change” as cheating 


Kobashi MaruEver feel like nothing’s going right?

Like whatever you try, whatever you hope, whatever you think might work…all of it is just a lost cause, broken and completely messed up?

Like there is no way to get ahead that doesn’t involve losing something very important?

That, my dear, would be a “Kobayashi Maru”.

In Star Trek, it refers to a test given to cadets to assess their discipline, character, and ability to command under duress.

In life, it might be that marriage that just doesn’t seem like it will be able to heal, or that friend who refuses to reconcile with you, or the twentieth bad thing that’s happened in the last two weeks.

Of course, if we think of those things as if they were our very own “Kobayashi Maru”, then we might need to think about just who it is that’s throwing all of this bad stuff our way.

I wanted to write and tell you that God doesn’t give us impossible tests, that he wouldn’t do that since he loves us so much. Sure he lets us go through trials, but he doesn’t subject us to the really bad stuff. He wouldn’t do that.

But then I know he’s all-powerful, so he could stop anything he wants to. He could fix stuff.  He could, but he doesn’t.  

Is it our own personal Kobayashi Maru to prove our devotion?

I hope not.

I fail more than I succeed.

I don’t really have the answers to these questions I’m posing. Except I do have one thought. Maybe the point of our struggle isn’t wrapped up in the outcome (although good outcomes are nice). Maybe the point is what we can learn along the way.

Who we are and who we can become is more than our marriage, or our friendships, or our good health.

And God is much more than a genie to make all our heartache go away.

To discover how much more he is, and how much more we are, maybe we use the tests and the heartache to learn and grow, so we never have to go back that way again.

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Rick Barry
11 years ago

Now that was a creative way to weave Star Trek lingo into your post, Mary Beth! Hmmm. Perhaps there is a way to weave Jefferies Tube into mine…? 🙂


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