I work in Center City Philadelphia and walk the two blocks to and from the train every day. Most days are routine, except for the occasional, errant person yelling or screaming about things like the world coming to an end or telling me my cell phone is on their brain frequency or sometimes even about the conversations they’ve had with the mounted police horses. Normal stuff.
One afternoon last week however, as I crossed the street and stepped onto the sidewalk, I saw something out of the corner of eye. It was on the pavement, moving fast but immediately caught my attention. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was, as it was moving at an angle toward me and I actually stopped to watch it. It was extremely thin, flat, perfectly round (about the size of a half-dollar), and all rusty with a few small holes in it. The wind must’ve caught it just right as it was rolling upright on its edge similar to what a Frisbee might do when it hits the ground after being thrown, then rolls vertically. It slowed as it got close to me, then veered away when it got about six inches from my shoes. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it because it kept rolling and doing little jumps and just wouldn’t fall over. I lost sight of it when it rolled out into the street, under a moving car and was gone by the time the car passed by. It was then that I realized it was an old, flattened bottle cap.
I know…you were expecting something a bit more exotic. Nope, it was just a flat, rusty old bottle cap, with too many years of age for me to even imagine. It had probably laid in the street over those years in the heat and in the cold, in the wind and the rain and had been ridden over and crushed by countless vehicle tires. I couldn’t get that bottle cap out of my mind and thought about it on the rest of my walk to the train and even during my ride home.
I thought to myself, “OK Lord, what are you trying to teach me here?”…His response was awesome.
That bottle cap has obviously lost its original intent and purpose and can no longer keep a beverage stored fresh and safely in its container. But, it hasn’t lost its eternal purpose. I know it’s an inanimate object, but it got your attention, didn’t it? How things (or, people) start out in life is not necessarily how they’re going to end it. And, for the most part, that difference can be as vast as the ocean. Maybe that bottle cap’s final purpose was to get you to write this story so others can read it and learn from it. But, then again, maybe not…you lost sight of it and for all you know, it could certainly still be doing its little old bottle cap dance for someone else. You won’t know until you stand before me!
The real issue is that My purposes are all that really matter. Things…and people too, will lose their original size and shape, get old and a tad rusty and over time even get some extra holes in them. But, it’s MY purposes in life that count. Age and size and shape and condition and mindset and attitude don’t matter one iota. Whether you’re twenty-six or ninety-six, My purposes for you in this life don’t end until I bring you home. Don’t let your present age or condition or situation allow you to get comfortable, or worse, lethargic. You already know from your own life’s experiences, that present circumstances can be fleeting and temporary. And, even though some transitions may have been unpleasant and uncomfortable at the moment, it always worked out, didn’t it? Continue to always look to Me for your direction and know that no matter what, I will always have something new for you. Exciting isn’t it?
Continue to roll, dance, jump, take chances and enjoy yourself while keeping Me always present and the Holy Spirit’s counsel always active. Be like that rusty, old windswept bottle cap…keep moving, have fun and live your life to its fullest.
I plan to do just that…
And, I’ll never, ever look at a bottle cap in the same way again!