Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

The Purpose of Things

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During the months that we have lived here in Silver City, we have often seen birds, especially curve-billed thrashers, perch on the tires of our vehicles. My assumption is that they feel safe, with the solid body of the car or truck above them, but they are still able to get a good view of the world. DSC_1431Recently I saw two of them, basking in the early sunlight, feathers fluffed up against the morning chill. They have taken what we consider a mode of transportation and made it into a shelter. It works for them, in a way that the small space between tire and truck would never work for us.

I wonder how many things I have repurposed in my life. Probably too many to count. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about how children do this naturally. They do not have presuppositions about what things are supposed to be “for.” Neither do the birds. They make the best use of whatever they come across.

Take some time today to wander around your house, or out in nature or the city somewhere, and let your imagination run wild. Look at something and intentionally forget its “purpose.” Artists do this often, recycling everything from motorcycle chains to computer motherboards into fierce dragons and elegant jewelry.

Then ask yourself about your own purpose. What were you created to do? Are you fulfilling that purpose, or have you repurposed yourself? Which feels more like the right purpose? How might you need to shift your thinking in order to live out that purpose?

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