I am the world’s biggest fan of the TV show, Parks and Recreation. I have seen every episode at least three times, I own every season, and am currently watching it on Netflix. I’m a go big or go home kinda gal. Early on in the series, a character named Tom introduces us to his creation, dubbed "DJ Roomba". DJ Roomba is a small, self-propelled vacuum with a speaker and iPod fashioned to the top. This little guy drives around the room and plays music to the delight and fascination of all who encounter it. I cannot explain to you how much I wish I had a DJ Roomba!
The thing that is so great about this little guy is that it has been elevated from its original purpose. It started as this pretty awesome little vacuum that works without your effort, which people everywhere can agree is a much better form of vacuuming, and then adds the perks of playing your favorite playlist. What’s not to love about effortless chores combined with music?
History tells us that people have made quite an impact on the world by taking a creation and elevating its status. Likely a lot of your favorite things fall into this category. But this mindset is not limited to things, we also do this to ourselves. We read self-help books, try new diets, fast from social media, do whatever Dr. Oz says, and more, in an effort to elevate ourselves to a better version of us. We’re searching for our purpose and may believe that, when we better ourselves, we will finally reach who we are supposed to be.
However, when we read the Bible, we see a different story about who we are, who we have been since before we existed. We discover, first of all, that God knew who he wanted us to be before he even formed us (Psalm 139:13-14) and that, in some way, we are created to look like God (Genesis 1:26-27). As we move to the New Testament, Paul tells us that, not only did God know who we would be, but he also knew what he would want us to do (Ephesians 2:10). We were created by him, like him, and for him before we were even born.
It is normal for us to wonder who we are and what we were created for. But when we look at the right source, we see that our purpose is not that hard to decipher. We have literally been created to look like God and to work for him. And, if that's not cool enough, consider the fact that the work he has chosen for us was selected specifically for us beforehand. Look at this verse in Ephesians:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. -- Ephesians 2:10
Created by God, in Christ Jesus, for works prepared by God. No requirement on our part. No upgrades necessary. Nothing to add. Just know good works and do them. That’s it. The love of God is so big, his grace so good that, not only does he already have a plan designed for us, our only job is that we do what he has planned.
Can we take time to better ourselves? Sure. Should we diet and fast from social media? Maybe. But what if we find that we actually become the best versions of ourselves when we are focusing on the good works of God, rather than the good works of us? What would our lives look like if we lived everyday like we were created to look like and work for him? Are you willing to find out?