I am suddenly reminded of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 3 when Lotso, the manipulative leader with his evil southern charm, orders his crew to kidnap Buzz and flip his switch so that he is put in "demo mode".... basically, they un-Buzz him.
What a sad part of the movie. (Don't worry, it gets much better...)
But may I step into your life a little bit and ask, what is your "Lotso"? I know it may be somewhat difficult to take this analogy seriously, but honestly, who or what do you allow in your life to flip your switch and turn you into something that feels so beyond what you know and claim until you become someone so unfamiliar, like an alien in a foreign world? You become like a robot as you mimic the mannerisms that you observe and the patterns that you see in others. And in the process, you barely even know yourself any more. It is as though you walk into a crowded room and cannot seem to stop staring at the stranger with the eyes that remind you of someone until it hits you painfully and unexpectedly like a basketball to the nose. That person is you, the real you. You are living a nightmare in someone else's skin.
...So with all due respect, why the robot? What makes you resort to such lifeless and incredibly monotonous behavior?
Perhaps it is when you feel misunderstood, when you feel trapped inside your own emotions. No matter what, there seems to be no escape, no outlet, no source of common ground where you are free to be you... whatever that means. You feel misunderstood so you stop trying. And you become a robot.
Or could it be when you feel that you are not valued nor appreciated. You feel worthless as you feed into the lies swarming you that say you are not 'enough'... you are not good enough, smart enough, tough enough, wealthy enough. What a painful and soul-cringing word that can be. "You are not enough"... so you stop trying. And you become a robot.
Or could it be when you are running after your own definition of success and you channel all of your emotional, physical, and mental energy into that one prize until you eventually forget what is really important, like relationships. At some point, though, maybe relationships failed you. Maybe they just didn't do it for you.... so you stop trying. And yes, you become a robot.
May I tap into something for a minute? We were not meant to live like this. In fact, we were meant to be everything but a robot. We were meant to taste and feel and experience real freedom.
Now for the Truth.
In Christ, we are understood. In Psalm 139, it says-
"You have searched me, LORD,and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways."
(verses 1-3... such a sweet passage. keep reading...)
In Christ, we are valued. In fact, we are so valued that He saw us worth giving His own life. (Romans 5:8) If that does not say that we are valued, I don't know what does.
In Christ, we have the ultimate fulfillment. We do not need to run after anything. If only we could see that God is running after us. We are the prodigal son returning home after realizing how broken and messed up we really are, and yet He is our loving, gentle, and forgiving Father who runs toward us with open arms. (Luke 15:11-32)
Robot...? Or freedom...?
I choose the latter.