Bright houses, busy streets, fast cars. Motion, action, people. Everyone with a job, everyone with something to do. One here, two there, a few over there. Overshadowed by unseen hands, all proceeds according to purpose. Empty hearts hiding in empty homes, all hollow. All shallow. All plastic. CLICK. Another LEGO brick falls.
Ice cream says a lot about a person. Eveyrone has a flavor that sticks out to them, and for different reasons. French Vanilla enthusiasts tend to enjoy the simle joys of life, while proponents of the Moose Tracks School of Philosophy tend to look for whatever’s new and awesome to hold their attention. In the end, it’s all ice cream, and we can all agree it’s awesome. It has its’ nuances, we love it for different reasons, but in the end we enjoy it because it simply satisfies a craving we have. Much like hobbies tend to satisfy our cravings in other areas, something seen very clearly in Gundam Build Fighters.
Build Fighters was one of my first Gundam series, and it remains one of my favorite series to this day. There’s so much to love about the series: the intense fights, the memorable characters, the interesting storyline (for a kids show, at least). But what sticks out to me the most is how much it resonates with my childhood. Growing up, I was the biggest LEGO nerd ever. I could spew out info on every main LEGO theme, tell you who the best builders were for each genre, and what major news outlets carried the latest news about the progression of colored construction bricks. LEGO was more than a hobby for me: it was a lifestyle. As much a part of me as breathing and eating were, and the protaganists of Build Fighters are much the same with their love for Gunpla.
While an anime about constructing intricate little robot figurines and having them battle through the magic of science might sound a bit silly on paper, the substance of the show does hold some truths about how we as humans interact with the world around us. Much like my 13-year-old self, each character in the show simply loves building, fighting, and testing their Gunpla. From the main character to the antagonists, they all have a love for and find a joy in perfecting each and every one of their creations. To them, to create is who they are. And to some extent, it’s true for all of us. Snapping together bits of colored plastic might not be your thing, but I’m sure you have some hobby that you simply just enjoy.
To create is to be human, whether that be creating new skills on the basketball court, creating new worlds hidden within words, or creating a new tones and melodies on the piano. Diverse as we are, we share a love for the unseen, a desire to improve, and a resolve to find ourselves in the machine of life, as it were. We find joy in creation, and that joy is something shared by our mutual Creator. From handcrafting the galaxies to making humans “in [His] image, according to [His] likeness” (Gen 1:26), God’s love for the act of creating, making, and testing limits resides in all of us. Main difference between ourselves and God, however, is that we don’t fully understand ourselves. We’re still learning, still growing, still taking each day one step at a time. It’s a journey, a process. One that takes time and exploration, but in the end brings us closer and closer to understanding who we are, and our place in this crazy world.