Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wasted

Waste: it is all a matter of perspective.

The Kingdom of God has laws that just can't be assessed by human logic. Nothing makes sense if you try to understand it that way. You have to let go of human perspective, and when you do, the rest of the world will think that you have taken leave of your senses.

Jesus said that he would bring strife and division among families and I can see why that would be if people really follow his ways.

When I chose to pursue faith at 16, my father worried that I was missing out on life--wasting my carefree years. I had, until that point, been immersed in a busy social life that included art, folk music, dancing and parties. I remained just as busy, but now it was with prayer meetings, Bible studies, youth group and practicing with a gospel singing group. When I married the pastor's son, he must have thought my fate was sealed! Even though I was always his daughter, who could do little else wrong, faith separated us for the rest of his life, in ways that were painful for both of us.

Paul and I have been slowly reading Watchman Nee's, Normal Christian Life, and are almost finished. We just read that he had been a brilliant young lawyer before becoming a preacher. This explains the systematic way he lays out his theology. He writes of going back to his hometown of Foo-chow in 1929, with his health broken, walking along the street with a stick. He met one of his old professors, who was shocked at what had become of him. Watchman was momentarily shamed and shaken at the fact that this man he respected, asked him, "Are you still in this condition, with no success, no progress, nothing to show?" It was a turning point for Watchman, but not in the way the professor probably hoped. Watchman felt the Spirit of glory resting on him and turned more resolutely than ever to God's path for his life.

We also read of an older woman who had a great impact on Watchman's life. She knew the Word of God like no one he knew and had great insight and wisdom. He was so frustrated that she didn't get busy and hold meetings--preach the Word to many people--expand her realm of influence. It was only later that he realized that the young men in whose lives she quietly invested, were her work. Watchman himself was a fruit of her life work; a man who was to spend 20 years imprisoned in China for preaching the gospel, and die while still in prison in 1972. But almost 40 years after his death, his words still have a profound impact on followers of Christ.

If we follow Christ there will be accusations of waste. Think of the woman who poured a fortune in perfume over his feet. What a waste of money.

Jesus spent lavish amounts of time alone on a mountainside praying, when there were crowds of people waiting to hear what he had to say--crowds of sick people waiting to be healed. What a waste of time.

A man hung on a cross, cut off the prime of his life. What a waste of power.

A Pharisee of Pharisees and Roman citizen, turned his back on his education received at the feet of Gamaliel; a privileged life that was on a fast track to influence in high places. Paul exchanged all of this for a life of repeated beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonment and eventual execution. What a waste of an education.

Waste? No, of course, not really waste at all! For in the Kingdom of God, losers are winners and dying means living. Those with the least are those with the most. Nothing is as it seems. If we are going against the flow, we are probably going in the right direction.

Galatians 6:14 (New International Version)
14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (New Living Translation)
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

5 comments:

Marilyn said...

Thanks for this, Belinda. The "what a waste" voice has been a regular visitor to my life. I suspect it stems far back, as several anecdotes sprang to mind immediately. Left unchecked, it would have led me all sorts of places I didn't need to be.

Belinda said...

Marilyn, in our study at cell group this week, we will be visiting our genograms--looking at the messages we received from our parents, and indirectly from their parents, and their parents. I hadn't consciously looked at this in my own life, really, until I started writing on Mondays about my family stories. It's important to unravel and expose to the light, the distortions of God's truth that can fester in our souls.

Deidra said...

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ...Philippians 3:7,8.

Sometimes I just forget about that. Thanks for the reminder. Thanks for the perspective.

landofhope133 said...

"Waste? No, of course, not really waste at all! For in the Kingdom of God, losers are winners and dying means living. Those with the least are those with the most. Nothing is as it seems. If we are going against the flow, we are probably going in the right direction."
Wow, I love your words.They are wonderful and Iam,by the way, a very religious Muslim!
Do not be horrified! We love Jesus.In our religion, he is one of God's prophets sent to call people to worship God alone who created all humans. Jesus and Mary are mentioned in the Qura'n many times with praise and reverence. Actually, there is a chapter that carries Marries name in the Qura'n. Muhammd (PBU) is the last prophet and Islam is last link in the chain of God's relegion.
Most people cling to this life that they forget the word of God. They think that if they obey him, they would miss a lot on their lives. They forget that people who lose for the sake of their God are winners in the Hereafter, and if we look at the peace of mind and happiness they have at heart, we will know that they have not lost anything at all. They are the true winners. Because most people are short sighted, the few people who understand that have to go against the flow which is the right direction.
Thank you.
Manal.

Belinda said...

Dear Manal,
Welcome, and thank you for your words. Thank you for sharing your common ground here. I'm not horrified, but blessed and honoured that you visited.