In the 1980s, the Japanese playmaker Takara launched a series of toys called the Transformers. Shortly after that, the Transformers film series was released, generating a global sensation and taking us on a journey through an out-of-this-world story.
You might know the story. There is war in another galaxy far, far away between the Opticons and the Decepticons. (Not too hard to figure out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, is it?) They bring their war to planet Earth. To continue the warring, they need to inhabit other bodies, so they take the forms of vehicles. They become working cars and fire engines and helicopters. They have to be productive contributors in the culture in order to influence the culture for their mission.
The respective tribes are on very distinctly separate missions. Yet, both are Transformers. Something that I find interesting (and I don’t want to overstretch the metaphor here) is that the Transformers are always aware that this world isn’t their real home. They each came here to do a job. Opticons came here to protect, to help, and to give hope to humans and planet Earth. Decepticons came here to destroy. Same transformational power and ability – used for life and for death.
This is certainly a pop culture story. Still, it brings to light the idea that we, as Jesus-followers, are also on a mission to be true Transformers. This is the mission we are called to as Christians, and the essence of any real mission is transformation.
This world is not our home. The author of Hebrews talks about us being aliens in a foreign land, that our citizenship is in another country. And yet, there’s this pull to blend in and to be like the culture and to stay there because it is the comfortable place to stay.
Agents of transformation must first be transformed. Here’s how Paul wrote about this idea in his first century letter to the Christians in Rome:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2, MSG)
These words are for all of us – students, parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors. So, like the Opticons (the good guys), we are invited to be transformed and to become Transformers. And we ask those on mission with us to be transformed.
How do you see the families you know adjusting to fit into the culture without even thinking? Being dragged down to the culture’s level of immaturity? Where do you recognize God at work in your everyday, ordinary life?
Drop me a comment with your answers. I’d LOVE to hear from you!
Dr. Teresa Moon, founding President and CEO of the Institute for Cultural Communicators, is an internationally-recognized seminar speaker, education consultant, author, and leadership coach. Each year, she travels globally equipping students, teachers, and parents to become “cultural communicators,” transforming ordinary students into extraordinary communicators and authentic leaders.