Thursday, September 24, 2020

Merely Useful

Humans are useful. We have advantageous factors and features that enable us to achieve practical things. We have hands to do dishes, wrists and fingers to tie trash bags and legs to walk the trash out. 

Maybe you are like me and sometimes you feel merely useful. You might as well be a Swiss Army knife or fork. Our souls atrophy when it feels like we are just practically useful.

Psalm 139:16 says, “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” I’m not interested in the fact God knows when I will die, but that our days are ordained. God didn't ordain the days of forks, or breath life into Swiss Army knives.

When I was about 12 my Dad got ordained. There was much hoopla surrounding the event. Friends and family traveled from across the country to watch. Getting ordained was abstract to me. I only knew what my imagination told me: Lutheran pastors I didn’t know would bestow cryptic ministerial powers on my Dad, which were symbolized by an ornate textile they draped over his shoulders. 

Ordained means to “confer holy orders upon” and “to invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions.” God has conferred holy orders upon all of us useful creatures. God has invested ministerial and sacerdotal functions on every human being. But it can be hard to remember our sacredness and deep purposes when we are in the midst of achieving one practical thing after another.

We are useful, yes. But not merely useful like weed killer, forks, faucets, and Swiss Army Knives. We’re ordained. If we need a reminder, we can drape an ornate textile over our shoulders before we plunge the toilet.