E-votional  Useful

May 22, 2001
"Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful both to you and me."
-Philemon 11 (NRSV)


When you walk into a chicken coop, you are harassed and accosted by a most horrific and stomach turning smell.  Their waste is everywhere and you may even think something around you has died.  Useless.  Some of the best fertilizer for a garden of mine has come from a plant in Nacogdoches.  Turn the fertilizer with the soil and you will have some of the best vegetables ever.  The plant, Tyson's.  The fertilizer, chicken waste.  Useful and useless, haven't we been both?  Somewhere alone the way a transition, a change, takes place.  We begin to use the gifts and opportunities God puts before us, or we neglect them.  We welcome community or we shun others.  We love or we become indifferent.
Hear the Good News, God reaches out to each of that we might embrace the opportunity to be useful, realizing our potential and calling to be a person of love, charity and mercy.  Paul had such an opportunity when Onesimus came to him.  We are left to assume that Onesimus was considered useless, but it was even his name's meaning.  Onesimus, the Greek word for useless.  whether or not that was the name given him at birth is not important, what is important is what Paul's response was.  Paul looked at him as a man, built him up and transformed this useless run-away slave into a useful and loved son.  Can you also see how this has in fact happened in your own life, and the people you too have built up like a son or brother?  In this way, you probably have been built up like a son or brother as well.  Useless to useful, it happens.
O, Lord, I have been useless.  Useless as a son, brother, friend, husband and father.  But somehow,  I have become useful as a son, father, bother, and friend.  You have built me up, others have built me up.  Allow me to build others that they might know their potential and continue to build and develop me.  Thank You Father, for all You have done in my life and all You will continue to do.  Amen.