I love to find something that has been discarded and repurpose it. Sometimes it’s a piece of furniture from a dumpster find, a pot made from an old bowl or a scarf that becomes a wall hanging.
My repurposing gift probably stems from growing up on a farm and “making do” with whatever we had. DIY projects began on the family farm.
Need to make a straight row for the garden? Use sticks and baling twine. Create a toy out of a piece of cardboard and/or leftover wood from another project.
The farm rules stated, “If you don’t have it, make it with whatever you already have.”
Creativity thrived but we didn’t think of our projects as displayed creativity. More like survival. Repurposing became our way of life.
The process of repurposing has now expanded beyond furniture, wall hangings or garden projects.
I find myself taking the pieces of a former life and remaking them into something new.
After a lifetime of ministry with people, I am now focused on the ministry of words – a solitude of sentences and intentional rest.
Still in transition, I wonder how to stop being who I was? How can I best become the “me” for this season of life?
Henri Nouwen writes, “The task is to persevere within the solitude.”
It is not a struggle to write, edit and create in the quiet of my home. This is the creative side of me that has always existed.
It is just different, a new normal and I have to discover the best way to function within my changing role.
When I repurpose an object, I sit awhile and look at it from all angles. How shall I paint it or redesign it? How can it be used most effectively?
Think Tom Hanks in “Castaway” as he sat on the beach staring at a piece of metal until he imagined it as a sail.
To repurpose a life requires even more thinking. How can I use my gifts to bless others when my audience lives in cyberspace? Is this moment best used writing a blog post, editing a book, taking a creative walk or reading a novel?
Which choice will strengthen me in this new role and allow me to end the day with a sense of productivity?
Can I be content to just “be?”
Madeleine L’Engle wrote, “We need to take time away from busy-ness, time to be. Taking ‘being’ time is something we all need for our spiritual health.”
To repurpose my life, I often just sit and “be.” This is hard for me – the natural “doer,” the “planner,” the “initiator.”
But as I am learning the principle of quiet reflection, I find a stronger creativity emerges when I return to the words.
Projects are completed. New ideas nurtured.
The beauty of this personal repurposing project is the assurance that God loves me no matter what I do. He saved me to “be.”
Perhaps this transition will change me into a different person. That’s okay, too.
Because hope thrives when we can be ourselves, embrace life and move forward with joy.
Who knows? I may find a new purpose for myself and be more authentic than ever before.
©2017 RJ Thesman, Author of “Sometimes They Forget” and the Reverend G Trilogy