Interesting to see Shia LaBeouf’s character in the Transformers series “Sam Witwicky” go through some adolescent development phases.

  • In the first Transformers, Sam is unaware of the potential within him.  He’s thrust into an extraordinary situation he never anticipated and is pushed beyond his limits.  For youth leaders, we realize that this is part of our call, to help students see who they really are in Christ and to see that their context is now open to something beyond their wildest dreams.  A journey with Christ (while it may not be exotic always nor thrill-seeking) will lead a Christian into an adventure that will resonate with their very soul.
  • In the second Transformers, Sam, after experiencing the extraordinary, wants a “normal” life.  He wants to be just like everyone else and turns his back on his “calling” with the Transformers.  Many youth want to be anonymous in many ways don’t they.  They want to just blend in and not stand out.  Sam realizes that he has a purpose to fulfill and must fulfill it.  To paraphrase a quote from Erwin McManus to a group of children’s pastors: you must call them to greatness (as the Lord defines it).
  • In the third Transformers, Sam now wants to use his talents and skills in a more meaningful way, but in some ways comes across with an air of entitlement.  Grant it, he did help save the world twice.  But he demonstrates an attitude that he no longer needs to do what it takes to get a passion-fulfilling job.  Maybe we’ve seen many of these kinds of youth as well.  Sometimes it comes across as “trying to find God’s will”.  But really, it’s a stalemate to find what truly inspires without wanting to “put in your dues”.  Sometimes, we get so paralyzed with trying to find the best fit that we don’t at least do something that would bring glory to God.

The life lessons from Sam Witwicky.