The usefulness of things are often brought to light only when the use of them is necessary, or if the usefulness of something else proves inadequate. For example, the metallic paint on my bedroom walls hadn’t proven itself useful (beyond its obvious use of covering my walls with style) until my mom accrued a certain bed lamp. The inadequacy of this bed lamp brought an unlikely use for the metallic paint to my attention.
The light given off by this new bed lamp is very harsh, very concentrated, and not at all conducive to a relaxing pre slumber perusal of the discoloring pages of one of the many used books I’ve collected over the years. An incessant rotation of my book was demanded of me at nearly every line to keep the shadows cast by my hand from covering strings of words. As you can imagine, this somewhat unsettling annoyance led me to mourn the loss of the lamp I never before knew was so fit for the tasks I put before it.
But even as this sad excuse of a lamp was unable to illuminate my pages, there was something it did bring to light. The thing which has been so casually, so unassumingly covering my bedroom walls, has now become a necessary aid to my coveted evening literary indulgences. As I shine my lamp directly at the wall, the paint diffuses the harsh light from my lamp and reflects a perfect wash of gentle light onto the pages which are once again able to captivate my attention.
There is much to be said about the usefulness of something. There is much to be learned by a thing’s unrealized potential; by the dependance of a thing’s usefulness on its location; by one’s failure to recognize a thing’s sufficiency for a task until its absence delineates lack or want. The contingencies which usefulness depend on can no doubt intimidate us, cause us to worry we’re in the wrong place, serving the wrong purpose, or even illustrating lack or want because of our ineffectiveness.
Had not all the things surrounding my reading experience taken place, I never would have achieved my metallic paint innovation. With that end in mind, each step was useful in finding an alternative use for my wall. If I can modify and reassign the resources available to me in order to bring myself a greater level of reading comfort, how much more can our Christ use such as we to bring a higher level of glory to His Kingdom? He can do a better job of realizing His Kingdom potential than I. With this end in mind, He makes us useful; so I’ll let Him shine me straight at a wall if that’s what it takes.