Amira's Porpoise
Amira's Porpoise
Time for All Ages

Today I’m going to tell a story about a girl who was searching for a porpoise. Now, as you probably know, a porpoise is a sea mammal in the dolphin family. Porpoises are smaller and shyer than dolphins. They are more difficult to find, but porpoises are very important.

Minister (or other Worship Leader): Um [storyteller]. The topic for today is about finding purpose. Purpose.
Storyteller: Purpose?
Minster: Yes.
Storyteller: So, not porpoises?
Minster: No.
Storyteller: Oops. Well, do you mind if I tell my porpoise story anyway?  It’s the only story I have ready for this morning.
Minster: Sure. We can give it a try.

So, there was once a girl named Amira and all she wanted for her birthday was a porpoise of her very own. She wished and hoped and dreamed of a porpoise. She asked her parents and her grandparents. She told all her friends at school that she was getting a porpoise for her birthday.

But her birthday came and went and she did not get a porpoise. She was disappointed...and she wanted answers. 

So she asked her parents and they said, “Oh Amira. We couldn’t get you a purpose. That is something you need to seek out for yourself.”

Amira looked at her parents kinda funny and said, “You know I said porpoise right? Like the sea mammal that’s smaller than a dolphin?” And her parents looked at each other and said, “Oops. But you can’t have a wild animal for your birthday anyway.”

She asked her grandparents and they said, “Oh Amira. We can’t get you a purpose. You’ll have to figure out your purpose when you’re older and sometimes even adults don’t know their own purpose.”

At this point Amira was getting a little annoyed. “I said porpoise! Porpoise—the sea mammal like a small dolphin!”

Her grandparents said, “Oh. Sorry. We misheard you. But we wouldn’t have bought you a porpoise anyway. They belong in the wild, dear.”

Amira was fuming. Why had no one understood her when she wanted a porpoise? And, now that she thought about it, why were the adults unwilling to give her a purpose either? What was a purpose anyway? 

So, Amira set about finding a purpose. Over the next several years, she asked a lot of adults that she knew and trusted. Some of the adults said, “I don’t know. That’s a really hard thing to explain!”

But some of the adults gave her some good advice. They said, “Pay attention to the things you care about and how you can use those to make a difference in the world. You may not have a clear idea about it yet, and your purpose will certainly change over time, but if you think about the things you value and how you can use those things for good you’ll be on the right track."

So Amira thought about the things that she valued and cared about—things like animals and the habitats they live in. She thought about the things she liked to do—things like learning new things and teaching those things to younger children. She thought about her heroes—people who were living their lives in ways that she wanted to copy. And she thought about what was possible, and ways that she could change the world when she was older. And eventually, after some time and some work, Amira came up with her purpose. 

And the funny thing is that Amira’s purpose didn’t stray too far from porpoises. She decided that her purpose was to be a caring advocate for the earth and teach others about conservation. And that’s just what she did.

About the Author

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