I bought some silly sweet-scented markers that have large happy looking emoji bobble heads for caps. They were to be included in a “thank you” gift for my volunteers at church, and I was going to include a card on them that said something like: You add joy to the sweet blessing of serving the Lord.
Yep, corny… I knew it was corny the moment I laid eyes on them. I knew they might even seem a little immature to some. Yet, I liked them. I bought them on impulse because they made me smile and I still want to use the inscription in a card to my volunteers. I haven’t scrapped the idea. I just cannot use these bobble head markers as the gifts I’d bought them to be.
The markers had appeared to be very functional while they were still in their packaging. It had been made in such a way that the packaging could be shaken and the bobble heads bobbled perfectly. Once I had them home, I opened the packaging worried that the markers would smell like overly ripe sweet reek bombs, but they all smell like the delicious olfactory sweet treat representatives they claim to be on the packaging. I realized quickly, however, that the markers themselves are dysfunctional. They have already run dry. These markers do not function as markers.
So, I have placed them all into a basket. Whenever I look at them I smile, and they smile back at me. Some of you minimalists out there are thinking I might be out of my mind right now. I know some of you well enough to know this is what you are thinking. I looked over at my basket of bobble heads and we just shared a good chuckle. No, I’m not ready to get rid of these guys yet. Do you know why? I can see their potential. I have townspeople for the next play I do for my little people in Sunday School. I have fun game pieces for an over-sized classroom game board. The ideas will fill this page to overflowing if I continue to open the flood gates now, but I think I’ve shared enough to give you a healthy idea. I work in Children’s Ministry where most things are not truly useless, they just need to be re-purposed.
This brings me to a gem from God’s Word: The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humble heart. Psalms 51:17
Have you ever taken on more than you know you should? Most of us have. I can take on another project even though I haven’t finished this one. I’ll meet with this person or pick up this item between this errand and that. What’s one more commitment when it helps so many and makes even more happy?
I wonder…how well would my markers have written if their makers had concentrated on what a marker is expected to do…write, mark things in their inky bright little way. Actually, I don’t really wonder. They were made to be a novelty. They were made to entertain. If they had been very good at being a marker but lacked the bobble heads or the sweet scents, I doubt I would have given them a second look because I have markers that work well as markers. I wanted something fun and charming to give to my volunteers to thank them for being a part of the children’s ministry team.
Sometimes I say yes to things I know I shouldn’t because I know there is a need and no one else has stepped forward to fill the need. Quite often I say yes because I already know how to do it, I have a wonderful idea of how to do it, or I am good good at doing it. Other times I see an opportunity to do something I have never had the chance to do before. I know when I shouldn’t have taken on so much…something inside of me dries up just like my markers. But I have a God who never looks at me as useless or used up. Once I give myself back to Him, He transforms me and gives me new life so I can get back out there and fulfill His purpose for me. He is ever true and loving even when we are not. May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose. (Psalms 20:4) And may we all seek more from Him to know what that purpose is.
Lord God, I pray out of Psalms 57:2&3. I call to You Most High, to You who fulfills Your purpose for me. You reach down from heaven and save me, challenging the one who tramples me. You send Your faithful love and truth. My spirit can endure sickness, but it cannot survive brokenness without You. Thank Lord God, my savior, redeemer, and friend. Amen.