In the movie Star Trek Generations Captains Picard and Kirk are caught up in the Nexus, an extra-dimensional realm in which those inside feel complete bliss and can have whatever their heart desires. In the Nexus, Captain Picard gets to celebrate Christmas with a family he never had, while Captain Kirk prepares breakfast for his wife in their home and rides horses with Picard. Picard tries to convince Kirk to leave the Nexus to help him stop the madman Soran from destroying a star, and as a result, the surrounding solar system. When Kirk makes a jump on his horse and feels no fear, he soon realizes everything in the Nexus is an illusion. He agrees to go with Picard, even though the odds are against them, because he wants to make a difference.
There are some profound lessons here for us if we pay attention. I think this movie does a good job of portraying the choice before us all. Will we seek a comfortable life where we can get everything we desire or will we choose the harder path of service and sacrifice in which we, like Picard and Kirk, can make a difference? The Nexus, after all, sounds like a very appealing place. Who wouldn’t want to go where time stands still and all your dreams come true? There’s only one problem with it–there’s no purpose in the Nexus.
You can live a life of pleasure and ease, but soon you will wonder, “What is my purpose? Does anything I’m doing actually matter? Do my actions make a difference?” The life of purpose is more difficult, but it is more fulfilling and rewarding. It goes back to what Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).”
Captain Kirk ends up dying as he helps Picard, but he does make a difference. The pair are able to stop Soron from destroying the star. Picard doesn’t get the family he’s always dreamed of, but he does save his other family, the Enterprise Crew.
The movie ends with Commander Riker and Captain Picard going through the wreckage on the bridge of the Enterprise. Riker finds an important photo album of Captain Picard’s, and Captain Picard waxes philosophical. Picard tells Riker, “Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important how we lived.”