One of the games we used to play while walking to school or while walking downtown to grab a candy bar at The News Stand, was ‘Kick the Can’. It was a simple game really. We played keep away while kicking the can down the road. It was more soccer than anything else, but with a can.
In an odd way, I used to feel a bit sorry for that can. By the time we reached our destination, it was dented up, beaten down, and sometimes smashed completely flat by one of us. For the cost of just a throwaway can, much joy was gained, and a few kids were kept out of trouble.
A lot can be said about that old can I would feel sorry for. I guess I sort of saw it as myself at the time; the one who was picked on and bullied. I played the game more defensively trying to protect the can from other players who liked to smash it just out of meanness.
I knew I wasn’t the can, but even today, I feel that way about the helpless and vulnerable; those who feel like life has constantly played with their lives kicking them down the street or just discarding them in the trash. In some ways, I’ve felt that way myself on several occasions and, believe me, I know how that feels.
You may be feeling like that tonight; as though life has looked you over and tossed you out. Maybe you feel like you’ve been used by others to help their career advance only to leave you behind. You may even feel like your life is spiraling down a steep hill having been kicked aside just waiting for the final foot to fall smashing you to the ground. That once shiny can, new and bright with colors, you once felt like, is now sitting in the mud rusting away. It seems like only a matter of time before you’re gone, and you no longer have any purpose. Hope has turned to despair and the fullness inside is now empty.
If that is you tonight, I want to encourage you that there is still hope. You may feel left behind, stepped on, and like you’re wasting away, but underneath that rusty finish is the strong metal you were made of. Sure, it may have some bruises and dents, but it’s still there. With enough fire from heaven and handy work of the Master, it can be reshaped into something beautiful, useful, and strong again. The rust and dirt will be washed away leaving only a shining finish reflecting His creative touch.
All you need to do is offer Him your life as a vessel for Him to shape. He’s looking for broken vessels to put back together again; reshaping them into something new and beautiful. You may be just what He’s looking for. I know I am…