The Parable of Mark Colgate


being useful

Mark Colgate had been on the job for about 5 months. He’d heard that most of his predecessors remained for only about 6 months before they were tossed away. He was worried.

Each day seemed to be the same for him. He felt like he was useful in life only a few minutes each day, but mostly his existence was a waste of time and material. He looked at others around him being used and he longed to do more … to be more … to be fully useful.

He spent his many quiet hours thinking of all the greater things he could – or should – be doing. “I know I do my best, but I want to be more useful. I feel like I’m a big waste of time. I could do so much more, but it feels like I don’t do anything important. I know I was created for a great purpose, but I do so little. I long to do so much more!

Mark knew he was made for a purpose and it had to be more than what his existence represented at the moment.

One evening, after he’d finished his day, Mark was struck by an idea he’d never considered. While busy only once that day, for less than a minute, perhaps he had fulfilled his purpose. Maybe he was being and doing all that he was meant to be and do.

Then came a second thought: what if his existence wasn’t about how much time he put in but in how he was being used? What if he was like a tool finding value not in ability or time, but in simply being used in the craftsman’s hand – and he was being used! Could he be fulfilling his purpose and not know it? Was his discontented desire to be more and do more actually a misunderstanding of his purpose in the world?

Mark had always wanted to be more and do more, but now he was sure that he was being used just as his maker intended. What he was doing in the world was more significant that he ever dreamed. He’d been made for this very thing in life. He was being used. He was fulfilling his purpose just being himself.

That night as the light went out and he was placed back in the holder next to the bathroom sink, the blue toothbrush with soft bristles who called himself “Mark”, offered a little prayer. “Father God, thank You for making me as You did. You didn’t make me to a hair dryer, a bath towel, or a bar of soap, but You made me according to Your good will and Your special purpose in the world. You’ve used me today to accomplish more than I realized. Thank You for making me as I am and using me each day for Your glory.”

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going (Ecclesiastes 9:10). And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23).

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2 thoughts on “The Parable of Mark Colgate

  1. Pingback: The Parable of Mark Colgate | Christians Anonymous

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