Of Zombies and Purpose
This morning, I scanned the guide of our cable TV offerings and clicked to watch a bit of one of my favorite movies of all time: “Toy Story”. The zombie toys were attacking Buzz and Woody. I had a funny thought:
Then I asked a serious question I’ve asked a lot lately: Why are zombies, vampires, and other mostly dead so popular? The best explanation I’ve heard is from Mike Glenn.
You see, over the last year, I’ve had a unique vantage point to watch people. And I’ve seen what Mike is talking about.
- A businesswoman hustling to a cab clacking her heels on the pavement because she had a chance to catch an earlier plane home. She could make it home before the kids went to bed.
- A homeless man sucking on a disposable lighter rummage through an ashcan trying to find leftover cigarettes with enough tobacco to get a fix.
- A wife whispering over and over again, “I’m sorry” as she helps her inebriated husband into a hotel. He had a comment on the clothes of every young lady on my side of the street… and the other. Yet, she apologized for him.
- Dozens of women celebrating bachelorette parties carrying—and wearing—items that on 364 other days a year would make them blush.
- Dads and daughters visiting colleges with the hope of the future burning in their eyes.
- Newlyweds smiling for the camera with an exhausted mother looking on.
- A new green card holder from the Philippines caught between the excitement over her first job in the United States and the devastation of her country.
Coming and going. Hurrying and lingering. Alone and together.
I’ve also been living in my own skin. The view in the mirror is sometimes scary, too.
How do we break free from our own zombie-like existences with patches of reality?
My son often quotes his tae kwon do sensei: “Walk with purpose.” He doesn’t want his charges to meander or delay. He urges them to move from one place to another with dispatch and an understanding of what will happen when they get there. He wants them to know why they do what they do.
Are we walking through life with a sense of why or a sense of huh?
For me, for today, I need to remember what Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus. In chapter one of his letter, he greets them then casts a beautiful vision of who Jesus Christ is. As you turn the page, he focuses on what Jesus should mean to us:
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The word “handiwork” is better translated “masterpiece.”
You and I are not zombies wandering through life with little more purpose than survival. We are masterpieces crafted with love and a vision for what our lives would be. We’ve been set on a path that he’s prepared.
It’s time for us to walk with purpose. Are you ready?