TV

The Law of Finding a Purpose in Life

The Glorious Purpose of the God of Mischief

Blake Nail / 7.19.21

When we think of purpose, it’s usually attached to something we do. Raising up children to be productive citizens of the world requires effort. Moving up the corporate ladder necessitates a consistent work ethic and continual drive to be the best at what you do. Being a successful student means staying up late, highlighting textbooks and writing important notes on index cards. Purpose is inextricably tied to our hands and what they produce. It’s the reason why the idea of the couch potato is someone who is lazy and without a purpose. Most recommend finding a hobby or passion, AKA something to do.

But is there hope for a purpose that is intrinsically granted? Let’s ask God, and no, not the one you’re thinking of.

Loki, the God of Mischief in the Marvel Universe, is heavily concerned with purpose. Glorious purpose, that is. In the new series on Disney Plus, Loki is awakened to the fact that his search for this glorious purpose is, well, rather meaningless. He’s attempted to take the throne of Asgard, chanced his life at overthrowing the Avengers, and even thrown his hat in to rule all of humanity on Earth. He’s known for employing all sorts of tricks, cons and deceptions to achieve his glorious purpose. But in the end, he sees his future and his ultimate death which is headed his way at the hands of the mad Titan, Thanos. Everything he’s strived for, everything he’s thought his life was destined to be, falls apart in front of him. No matter how hard he worked for that glorious purpose, it wasn’t attainable. It wasn’t enough for the law lying within the burden of purpose.

And that’s what it is, isn’t it? Purpose is just one more way the law hammers us down (especially me, being Blake Nail and all). If you have something you’re chasing, it strikes by telling you you’re just not there yet. If you don’t have a purpose, a meaningful life, it points at you in demand you find something and find it now. Without getting too confusing on the time continuum, in the show, Loki finds himself at the end of time. Here, he comes across numerous variant versions of himself. They have found themselves without purpose and without the ability to even have one. Stuck on a planet with nothing to do and a giant smoke-like monster keeping them in check, they realize that purpose is not within their reach. But that’s the thing about Loki, or Loki in the plural. Purpose seems to find them, or mischief you could call it.

There’s one special Loki, known as Classic Loki, an old school version of him played by Richard E. Grant. He has a beautiful moment, granted to him via our normal Loki (Tom Hiddleston), when he finally receives his glorious purpose. He serves as a distraction so that normal Loki can accomplish his plan, and while he uses his abilities to do so, it was purpose he received. A purpose that sought him out while he was essentially a couch potato on a desolate planet. As sad as it might seem to you, his moment was truly glorious for me as I watched in awe. He sheds a tear as he, even for a moment, realizes he matters and has a glorious purpose. The glory he finds exceeds egocentric vanity, giving himself entirely over to help someone else.

Consider with me for a second the possibility that we too might have a glorious purpose. One that doesn’t require the work of our hands or fulfilling the law hiding within purpose. Surely, we have goals we reach for, passions we pursue. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be something more, to do something grand and meaningful. But underlying our search for purpose on Earth is a deeper, more glorious purpose. One that the God of Mischief played no part in. There are no tricks, deceptions or cons when it comes to the glorious purposeful grace of God. No, indeed there aren’t.

But what you will find, or rather what will find you, is a grace that will take you as you are. Whether you’ve fully reached your potential at your workplace or not. Whether your child is performing at their best, or at their worst. In fact, maybe you’re a couch potato eating Goldfish endlessly while streaming the Loki show, like I was. Well, there’s good news for even you (and me). A purpose, a truly glorious purpose, to be loved and accepted as you are. And like Classic Loki, maybe you too can have a moment of enjoying such a truth.