This post is part of the 2021 Writing Challenge. This challenge is open to anyone and involves writing on one word a week for 52 weeks. Write for yourself or write for others but either way, please feel free to share by posting a link in the comments (if you’re posting on this week’s word) or post on social using the #2021writingchallenge and tagging me on Twitter or Instagram, or posting on my FB page so I can repost. Happy Writing!
Think of the most versatile object in your home.
I think in our house, it is a metal coat hanger. When it was made, it was purposed to hang clothes to keep them from getting wrinkled and I do use them to that end but metal coat hangers also make excellent marshmallow roasting sticks (as long as they aren’t painted, of course). But in our house, the metal coat hanger proves most valuable as an all-purpose plumbing tool. Almost all of our plumbing problems can be solved with a coat hanger. Clogged drain, no problem. Blocked toilet, no problem. I won’t get into the details but even though DIY plumbing is not what the coat hanger was intended for, in our house, we have repurposed it for the needs at hand.
At the beginning of this year, you may have joined me in setting intentions. Intentions take into consideration, that which we feel called to – a vocation or purpose. The only problem is that many people, including myself, struggle to know what their purpose is. In 2002, a well-known American pastor named Rick Warren wrote a book called The Purpose Driven Life. It was on the New York Times Bestseller list for over 90 weeks and had sold over 18 million copies by 2008 – people were and are looking for purpose. Now, I have to confess, I never actually read the book; perhaps, if I had, this post would be much more inspiring (I’m quite certain that Rick Warren doesn’t liken our purpose to unblocking toilets) BUT what I do know is that like a metal coat hanger, sometimes our purpose can change as we change and adapt to the needs at hand. We are repurposed for God’s purpose.
Purpose is rarely glamorous. Life often feels more like a series of clogged toilets than satin ball gowns but both are valid purposes (for a coat hanger). For many of us, our purpose in the time of COVID looks very different from our purpose in years past but that is why we hold fast to those things which ground us and give us hope. I love the words of Krista Tippett and so I will leave you with them,
[Purpose is] about how we orient our lives and our attention and our passions. At different stages in life, different callings emerge and take primacy — what we focus on and pay homage to with our presence, and what we fight for from the ground of what we love.