Proverbs 16:9 – A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. (KJV)
Ecclesiastes 7:29 – Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. (KJV)
Ecclesiastes 7:29 – This alone I have found, that God, when he made man, made him straightforward, but man invents endless subtleties of his own. (NEB)
We are all fully aware of the toothbrush and its prime purpose. Toothbrushes come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They have long, short or curved to the palm of your hand handles. They come with big bristles in the front and back with sawed-off looking ones in the middle. They come with bristles as hard as wire or as soft as silk. They come specifically for little mouths, big mouths, original and false teeth. In short, the toothbrush is made for brushing almost any assortment of teeth we may have in our mouths.
There are even toothbrushes for animals.
Some people perhaps use the toothbrush until it seems its usefulness is finished, and then toss it away. However, there are many among us for whom the toothbrush is also one of the most important cleaning utensils we own. We perhaps have a healthy stash of them all over the house and workshop for cleaning all those little places designed by people who probably knew they'd never have to clean them.
The toothbrush has been used to clean many a latrine; to provide a pretty good shine for baby shoes; to apply dye to bigger people's shoes; to shine silver or to put down that last little corner of wallpaper.
Ahhhhh yes, the toothbrush is a multi-purpose tool.
And what of us? What of our original purpose and purposefulness? Do we do the things we were initially designed to do, keeping connected to the Ten Commandments? Do we, as the seasons of our lives change, find new purpose in challenging and positive things — or, do we despair, feeling our purpose is finished and toss away what we have left?
Prayer: Good and gracious Father, may we always pursue a purposeful life. May we especially be open to helping those who feel there is no further purpose to their lives and help them as they learn to live again. In your name we pray. Amen.