When I see a pen like this I can’t help but think about the unforgettable trip to the Newfoundland ferry with my youth group in the early 1990’s. I was a youth Pastor at the time and responsible for the youth in the 4 car convoy on the road that night en route to a youth conference in Nova Scotia. Until that night I had no idea how impactful the uniqueness of a Bic pen could be.
The lead car drove over a large chunk of ice that had fallen from a tractor trailer and the car was lifted with the impact. This resulted in a break in the fuel line, and gasoline started to pour from the severed line at an alarming rate. The fear of running out of gas was immediate as the gauge quickly moved toward empty. With little time to spare before the scheduled ferry crossing, sure enough, the car ran out of gas, but fortunately we were very near a service station.
The empty tank was no longer an issue because gas was now available at the station, but at that hour there was no mechanic to repair the leaking gas line. After analyzing the situation, the gas attendant took a Bic pen, removed the refill, and fastened this between the break in the gas line, allowing the gas to flow through, temporarily stopping the leak. Wow! This was definitely thinking outside the box. We made it to the ferry on time and made the permanent repair the next day after the overnight ferry crossing.
It is logical to assume that the purpose of the pen is to write, to have ink flow through it on to a document. We have all used a pen in this manner, maybe to sign a legal document or to write a letter.
There were several pens on the countertop that night; one was used for me to sign making payment for the gas and the temporary fix. Up to that point, the Bic pen was the same as any other that was in the service station, but on that night, this pen served a purpose that not one of us could have actually imagined. Ink is what flowed from the pen up to that point, but on that night gas flowed through it. The pen served the role of gas line temporarily, a completely unique function for a pen.
I realized something about purpose that night: What flows through you really defines you and determines your destiny. We are all made unique with a specific part to play in the lives of others. How important is it for you to fulfill what you were meant to do in this life? What is flowing through you that helps to bring you meaning?
Proverbs 19:21 speaks about purpose this way: You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.