Sunday, February 27, 2011

TIME - Get up, you're wasting your life. - Robert E. Mitchell

TIME - “Get up, you’re wasting your life.” - Robert E. Mitchell

My dad has said that quote to me and my siblings numerous times.  When we heard it, usually we would either laugh at the way he said it or roll back over and tell him to leave our bedroom because we wanted to sleep some more.  For me, it was mostly laughing at the way he said it.  I still remember the tone of his voice when he said it and imitate it to this day.  “Get up!,  yer wastin’ yo life!”  Back then I would laugh it off, but as I’ve grown and matured I see how right he was.  Whether we were sleeping in when chores needed done or sitting inside playing “silly games” like Nintendo, we could have been doing something a lot more constructive.  Not to say we were lazy most of the time because we weren’t.  We spent countless hours outside behind our home in the woods (jungles of Vietnam at times).  We also played thousands upon thousands of innings of Tennis ball baseball in the front yard and neighboring yards.  Our parents also made sure we did our homework and kept up with most of our chores, but that didn’t keep Daddy from keeping us in check during our bouts with laziness.
Moving forward in my life and walk with Christ, I have seen this quote to mean a great deal more to me.  I have had times of wasting my life in a lot more ways the older I’ve gotten.  Now that I manage my time on my own with no parents really around to schedule out the day.  My two biggest time wasters now are sitting in front of the boob tube watching empty reality shows and surfing the internet for nothing in particular.  We all find things to do to pass the time.  I’m sure everyone who reads this will also agree that they spend too much time in front of the computer and/or the T.V.  The point of this post is even deeper than that.
The offseason of 2009 I had a lot of alone time while I was in the Dominican.  In a foreign country the T.V. channel selections leave a lot to be desired.  I am thankful that God used a lot of my down time to work in me.  I spent more time reading His Word then and on bus trips that winter than ever before.  He taught me more about Him, I grew in a deeper knowledge of who He was and how He can live through me.  Those good habits have continued through 2010, with me digging into the Word more frequently with more of an understanding of what I have read.  
This led me to another book I stumbled on this summer, Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper.  The point of this book is to show believers what God wants out of us to further His kingdom.  The book starts off by painting a picture of an older couple just retiring.  They say bye to friends and family and head to Florida for “retirement”.  Piper argues that this kind of retirement is the biggest life waster of all.  It’s not too late for younger folks, but someone in their mid 60s to just spend the rest of their life on earth “collecting seashells” and not impacting others lives is tragic.  Piper also asks, Doesn’t God want more out of us than just the American Dream?  We can learn from this as Christians.  Are we wasting our life and calling from God by keeping to ourselves.  I know I do.  I waste way too much of mine by not thinking of others needs enough or not talking to a stranger when the opportunity might come and go.  We are to live life to the fullest by letting Jesus live through us.  The only way to do this is to “take up our cross and follow him” daily.  This means not doing what we WANT to do all the time.  It means being led by the Spirit and not by our Flesh.  This is another reason I started this blog, to pass on what God is teaching me.  So Lord willing, He will continue to put me in situations to impact others.  I pray He keeps giving me chances to impact other lives for Him even though I’ve “quenched the Spirit” by not doing it so many times.  My prayer in this is that anyone who reads this will be convicted like I am and will spend their time more wisely.  Not on themselves and close family all the time, but spending it for others.  Mainly, by telling others about the joys in Christ through the Gospel.  This is a great way God gets the glory because it is only Him, through you, that can do any good anyway.  Seeing and Loving Him for what He is will give you the only Joy that will cause you to want to do this.  Working to try to do it yourself will not work.  So spend time with Him, in His Word, and let him tell you to...
 “Get up! Your wastin’ yo life!”  It’s great that my earthly father and my Heavenly Father have told me this!  I’m thankful.

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