Monday, March 30, 2009

Can You Live Any Wiser?

"Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." -- Ephesians 5:15-16
"No one has ever had a bigger God, a bigger Bible, or a bigger calendar than you have." -- Leonard Ravenill
The other day I told someone, "I think I could profitably spend 10 concurrent lives." God has blessed me with work that is, at least in some degree fruitful and a blessing to others. In fact, enough work to keep 10 of me busy, if that were possible! I can also see this fruitfulness in my mother and father's lives. (By the way, an update on my mother's health will be coming within the next 24 hours.)

It causes me great grief to see so many people with no purpose in life. Especially when such great purpose is available! Although often blessed with natural talents, physical strength, and even money, their lives are fraught with frustration. They want desperately to be happy and yet the more they pursue happiness, the less they have.

I know what this feels like from personal experience, not just from observing others. I didn't move from "time wasting" to "time redeeming" all at once and I still have not arrived.

My natural tendency is to ask "What's wrong with this?" This is the wrong question. Let's say I was considering playing golf. I could get into a big biblical argument and say "There is nothing in the Bible that forbids golf. Golf is a form of enjoying God's creation. It's good exercise." (Etc.)

This question has proven far more helpful to me:

"Can you do anything better?"

This question gets the focus off the activity itself and onto its fruitfulness. Life for me has become a series of trades. When a door of opportunity opens, I evaluate and seek to trade "good" activities for "better" ones.

If you feel dissatisfied with the current output of your life, but don't know of any "better" activities you could do instead, feel free to contact me. For what it's worth, we would be glad to hear more about your situation, pray with you, and seek to give you some ideas or counsel. We're still "works in progress" too, but can at least share what we've learned. Your time is too valuable to waste.
Oh, you that are spending your leisure and powers
In those pleasures so foolish and fond;
Awake from your selfishness, folly and sin,
And go to the regions beyond.
-- A. B. Simpson.

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