Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blunted Purpose

“I walked through the Brunel Centre felling a sense of disappointment mixed with the realization that until my health improved, things were going to be very different.  I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, which led me to the inevitable conclusion that I couldn’t be who I wanted to be.  My purpose was suddenly blunted, and I didn’t like it.”
     The character Thursday Next, in “The Woman Who Died A Lot” by Jasper Fforde, page 47

Is it inevitable that because I can’t do what I want to do, therefore I can’t be who I want to be?  Does that then blunt my purpose?  Am I angry, despondent, aloof because of that?

Blunted purpose—that is excellent imagery.  The sword is blunted and made dull and is ineffective.  The blows made by the sword cause the nicks and dents, and wear down the once sharp edge to dull sides. 

Have I been dented?  Worn down by life?  Is my identity in what I can do? 

What bears the brunt of my frustration?  “Until my health improves” was Thursday’s.  Maybe mine is “until my job changes” or “until my finances improve” or “until I get that degree” or “until I get married”. 

What if all the things that wear me down, blunt my purpose, are actually shaping and sharpening that purpose?  When sharpening a knife (and I’m going to assume a sword, too), you draw it repeatedly across a stone.  Do that at the correct angle, and it gets sharper.  Do that at the wrong angle, and it gets duller.  Either way, it feels the same to the (anthropomorphized) knife.  And it’s a period of time when the knife will not be used for its purpose. 

Is drawing the knife across a stone a set back?  A blunting of purpose?  Or is it preparation?  

For this Lenten season I am giving up perfectionism and posting a blog each day, Monday through Friday, from Ash Wednesday on February 13th, through Easter, on March 31st.  For more information, read “What Are You Giving Up?  Jesus died for me and loves me, and this is an exercise in remembering that.  Thanks for joining me!
photo credit: jrodmanjr via photopin cc


  1. excellent reminder in metaphor.
    Yet, are we being shaped by our Maker so marvelous as to be in use while also pressed against the wheel?

  2. Thank you, Marshall.
    And that is a good question! Those seasons when we don't feel like we're doing anything, the winters, often give strength to others by example.