This entry is part of an occasional series in which metaphors of dubious worth find their way onto your screen. Its roots are simple: I may have too much time on my hands OR there may be life lessons to find in just about anything. Maybe not all that strange…?
I hold in my frustrated hands a slender produce bag. If it’s ever opened by my clumsy fingers, it will hold fresh veggies or fruit that I hope to purchase from my local, friendly grocery store. I am frustrated by this bag—and its compostable cronies—because these innocent-looking, mint-colored plastic sacks regularly refuse my fumbling attempts to open them. (Yes, I have been instructed in the Secrets of Plastic Bag Opening, but even then the polybags rebut my efforts, perhaps with the stubbornness that only they can muster?)
This regularly occurring experience got me to thinking: My older adult persona may be something like this bag. In my mind, I claim to be useful, not threatening to the environment and pleasant in many ways. But sometimes I may be hard to figure out when it comes to being a productive part of society. But the One who knows all has a way of revealing to others around me just how to pry open the sometimes mystery of my usefulness. How to use my talents, energy and motivation for God’s work. How to get past the plastic produce bag qualities that could make me reticent to participate in the necessary vocations of bringing Jesus’ Good News to life in practical ways—volunteering, contributing, leading, organizing, advocating or teaching.
I am thankful that God surrounds me with wise and understanding people. They deftly invite me into the efforts of our church, political campaigning and local organizations. They know how to convince me that my life still has worth in so many ways—that I am more than a plastic bag.
I am grateful for their appreciative and affirming touch….
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