Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 NASB
Whenever I read these verses, I envision my brother’s Transformers collection. During 1984 through 1986, these toys became vastly popular because they did two things. They converted vehicles into robots and back again using specific directions. Also, they didn’t make noise. Both ideas make kids and parents happy.
My sons also enjoyed the marketing resurgence prompted by the recent Transformers movies. Yet, as a parent, I was disappointed. Forget the disturbing disparity of turning a kids’ cartoon into PG-13 movies. Watching my son wrestle with transforming Bumblebee was torturous enough. Hearing Bumblebee bothered me more. I did a little research about the schematics of the generational evolution of the Autobots and the Decepticons. It confirmed what I suspected. Ambition often thwarts original intentions for the worse rather than for the better.
The same could be said of God’s original intention in the Garden of Eden. What He created and pronounced good, human ambition thwarted.
Or did it?
Many think so. They base their existence on conforming to one side or the other of society. Some seek autonomy. Some follow icons. Unfortunately, both lead to a deceptive, artificial intelligence. They are truly “Robots in Disguise.”
Yet, that is only half of the Transformer motto. As I read Jetfire’s back story, I discovered a biblical parallel.
Jetfire, a.k.a Skyfire, first appears as a Decepticon scientist and explorer. Little wonder he would become friends with the Decepticons who reactivate him after he has been frozen during an excavation mission to the Earth’s core a million years prior. But later, after he witnesses the imprisonment of the Autobots he saves from an ice floe, he rethinks his allegiance. When his Decepticon friend, Starscream, demands Jetfire/Skyfire be the Autobots’ executioner, he refuses. Starscream retaliates in rapid-fire betrayal. Although he sustains extensive damage, Jetfire/Skyfire receives ministrations from the Autobot Ratchet and is able to regain his abilities. More important, he joins the Autobots and their crusade against the Decepticons. Jetfire/Skyfire epitomizes the Transformers’ motto “More than Meets the Eye.” In this case, ambition’s intentions were thwarted when this Transformer used his powers for good rather than evil.
Did human ambition thwart God’s original intention? Only if we stop reading at the beginning of the back story!
Not until we discover God’s Creation Matrix throughout His Word do we see His specific directions for converting, the ultimate transformation key. We also become “more than meets the eye” when we turn from our former worldly allegiances and transform into who God intends us to be. We use our powers for good rather than evil when we value the life He has given us, the life He extends to others through His Son, Jesus Christ. The result is a renewal, a regeneration for the best. But, unlike the original Transformers that converted without noise and the next that created an automatic mantra, God instructs those transformed by Christ through His Holy Spirit to respond quite differently. Both ideas make His kids and Himself, our Heavenly Parent, more than simply happy.
Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.