I was born back in the late 70’s. Folks like me played with He-Man, Star Wars, GI Joe, and Transformers growing up. I’ve taught a College Bible Study the past 9 years and one of my favorite illustrations is using an Optimus Prime. I start off by showing the students a brand new never before opened Optimus Prime from the movie Dark Side of the Moon. I look at the students and I tell them I’ve played with Transformers my entire life, but I’ve never opened this package how fast do you think I could transform it? The answer of course is it would take a while, I’ve never done it before I would need to read the directions, sometimes you have to youtube it because the directions are confusing. The parts on the new ones are different so they connect differently.
The second Optimus Prime I pull out looks like the old 80’s Cartoon Prime but it was made in the 2000’s and is made of plastic. It is not the same one I’ve grown up with even though it looks like it much more than the Dark Side of the Moon Version. I again ask them how long it would take for me to transform this one. Unlike the first one this one is lose (out-side of the box) but it doesn’t have the directions. Even though I’ve touched it before I have never transformed it. I just took it out of the box and set it on my office shelf about 7 years ago. Again the students say it would take me a while, and I admit I like my chances better with this one but it would still take me about 5 or 6 minutes and I wouldn’t know if I had done it correctly because I don’t have the directions to check it against.
The last Optimus Prime I pull out is my Generation 1 (G1) original version that I had as a kid. I am very familiar with this one even though I don’t play with it other than this one lesson each year. I ask the students how long do you think it would take me to transform this G1 prime. One in which I’ve spent many hours with, spending time with, getting to know everything about. Most students will say “I think you can do it in about 2 minutes”. Then I add this caveat. How long do you think it will take if you blindfold me or I close my eyes? The typical response is three to five minutes. I then close my eyes and transform the G1 Transformer of Optimus Prime in 7 seconds flat.
You see, I know that Optimus, I’m familiar with that Optimus, I’ve spent many hours transforming him. I use this to illustrate my relationship with Jesus Christ. You see having a super cool new Bible is nice, but useless if not taken out of the box (See Dark Side of the Moon), Having a Bible that looks old but that has never been opened or read is also not useful (See the 2000’s 80’s version). However, spending so much time in your Bible that you know every twist and turn (See G1 version) can be the very thing that transforms you from the person you are today, to the person God wants you to be. The wonderful part about the sanctification process is is the more time you spend with God’s Word, the more you don’t have to think about being a Christian you begin to react like a Christian. This is very much like a well trained athlete that doesn’t have to think they just do because of the many hours of practice. My prayer for the students that have seen this or the readers that read this post is that you would begin reading God’s word and watch how he Transforms you.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.