(Re) Discovering Our Original Purpose
By Fin Sheridan
Last year, Apple sold 211.88 million iPhones. This year, they have released 3 new iPhones: the 8, the 8 Plus and the X and this Christmas, hundreds of thousands of people will be unwrapping a new iPhone as a present.
iPhones, and smartphones in general, are pretty extraordinary devices. This paragraph blows my mind a bit: Put simply, the iPhone 6’s clock is 32,600 times faster than the best Apollo era computers and could perform instructions 120,000,000 times faster. You wouldn’t be wrong in saying an iPhone could be used to guide 120,000,000 Apollo era spacecraft to the moon, all at the same time.
We use our phones for all sorts of things: internet browsing, shopping, connecting with friends. People make beautiful films, create songs and navigate unfamiliar cities, just using a phone. We can translate different languages, create wealth, video call people worldwide and, most importantly, we can play Angry Birds. App learning is a multi-million pound industry already. Our kids cannot imagine a world without the access and connectivity that a smartphone brings.
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”
What’s the main point of an iPhone? Well, the clue is in the name: it’s a phone. Its original design and function is communication; the shape is still designed for one end to be at our ear and one end at our mouth. So many things are additional to our phones but the central, original purpose is a communication device.
So what about us? What’s your original purpose and what’s mine? There are so many demands on our time, so many things that we’re seemed to supposed to become and do, so many roles to assume and excel in. But what were we created for?
Isaiah 43:7 spells it out pretty clearly – ‘…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” You and I, created in God’s image, were created for one purpose, to glorify God. From Eden to Revelation, we see this: human beings are created with one original intent: to worship God, with everything. It’s the most important commandment. It’s the ‘chief end of man’.
Whilst you cannot simply drop your various roles or functions: parent, sibling, colleague, husband or wife, etc, it is always worth remembering that these are secondary. We have to live all those things from our place of original design, our truest identity which Galatians 2:20 sums up so well: ‘the life I now live, I live by trusting the son of God who loves me and gave himself for me.’ Or, as writer Brennan Manning put it: “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”