On Sunday, Thistle and I were walking off some of our Thanksgiving excess when she spotted a green, plastic cup on the side of the road. She often snags bits of trash and either shred them on the spot, or takes them home in hopes of shredding them there at her leisure. I’m not sure what qualities she looks for in the trash she carries home versus what she leaves in the ditch, but whatever it may be, this cup passed muster and she grabbed it.
Thistle’s standard mode of walking is to rush ahead, then find something interesting and stop to give it her full attention. It’s not the smoothest, steadiest way to move down the road. Many times I have to draw her attention away from the stick, bit of trash or remnant of unfortunate critter in order to make any progress at all.
Not so once she had her cup. Cup in mouth, she pointed her nose toward home and did not look to the right or the left. When a deer crunched through the leaves in the woods nearby, she barely gave it a glance. When I spoke her name she shot me a look over one shoulder and kept on moving toward her goal.
Focus. Work to do. A purpose. That’s what Thistle had. I’ve noticed this before. My normally ADHD puppy can suddenly acquire Zen-like focus when there is a task at hand. Of course, the task is almost always chewing something up, but hey, we all have our unique callings.
I think what happens to Thistle when she finds just the right bit of trash is what happens to people when they find just the right work to do. The normally distractable person suddenly has focus. She gets in the flow. Time passes without her noticing. Squirrels run right in front of her and . . . oh wait, that’s Thistle.
I think this is one of the best clues to finding your purpose. What holds your attention so strongly that normal distractions fade into the background? Oh, it isn’t always that way. Sometimes I write for an hour without stopping and when I do stop it’s like waking up. Other times, the writing comes in drips and drabs that I have to squeeze out like the last bit of ketchup. But the flow happens often enough that I think writing must be the thing. The purpose. The gift God has chosen to pass through me.
Q4U- Have you ever thought what your purpose might be?