Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. John Piper
I have been pondering this thought quite a bit the last couple months. Then I saw this quote & I started thinking deeper into it, trying to decide what is worldly bubbles & what things do I potentially waste time on. I can easily determine that the lazy days of binge watching netflix would be one of the wasteful things that I have allowed on many occasions, perhaps the hours of shopping, spending money I didn’t have, staring at items I couldn’t have, scrolling Facebook liking memes, watching videos, reading dramatic posts. Those are the more obvious ones for me, but what about the less obvious ones, the ones that are culturally accepted & promoted to the point that everyone does them and they aren’t easily recognized as wasteful. Things like long empty conversations about nothing, hours spent worrying about things that were out of my control, texting, snap chatting, instagramming. I imagine the list would be much longer but so many things that we do with our time is engraved in our culture thus it is tradition to partake in such things, to utilize our time for them and often to get overwhelmed by the demanding, chaotic schedule that it creates.
The classic American lifestyle includes work, school, events, parties, socializing with friends, keeping up with family, chores, errands, days to lounge and shut off the brain, maybe in front of the TV, maybe resting in bed. If you are a religious person it is all of the above & an additional many hours & days at church for services & then for the involved one, more hours and time serving in whatever area you either feel called too or feel burdened enough to fill the need. This creates a schedule that more often then not is exhausting and stressful.
Having had an exhausting, stressful schedule for the last couple years, often feeling burnt out and desiring to escape all of it, the wasting on worldly bursting bubbles concept really hits me & has made me think about where I can adjust things & manage my life in not just a non wasteful way but more importantly the way that God intended me to live and that glorifies Him. When I gave my life to Christ I was giving Him my schedule, my plans, my desires, my my purpose and my future. It meant that He was in charge of each day, everything that I would do, was intended by Him, not planned by me.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
A widely quoted verse, although we often miss the concept that the Lord knows the plans, He is one who has created them and will put them into place, not us. It seems we miss out on the concept that we are not the captain of the ship & all the control that we attempt to have only messes up the direction our life should/could be going. Ever feel that things are out of place, you can’t keep up, you feel worthless in a situation, unproductive in what you are doing? I do believe & have sensed it for myself, this feeling comes when we allow our plans to take up all the time that God has given us, leaving no time for what God intends for us.
Ever look back at a decision you made & think how much better things would have turned out if the decision was different? This is how life is for us, there are the decisions we make that push us forward on the path that God intended and then decisions that take us on a totally different path. We may get really frustrated about the outcome of many of our decisions yet are unwilling to leave our plans in the hands of the Creator, unwilling to recognize that He may actually have the best plans with the best outcomes.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6
The business of this life, the wasted spaces, opportunities not taken, gifts not used, relationships not built are all regrets that we most likely would have if we were fully aware of all that we should have done, could have done when following Christ. We miss the open doors that we were supposed to walk through and with every door missed there are consequences and alternate routes that we end up taking. I sadly acknowledge that the many gifts that God has given me have been poorly utilized & I have taken many long detours, suffered many heart breaks & felt much guilt and worthlessness due to my own wasted time.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me besides quiet waters, He refreshes my soul, He guides me along the right paths for His name sake. Psalm 23:1-3
At the end of the day when it comes to asking what is my purpose, what am I supposed to do, how am I supposed to know what to do or where to go? It simply comes down to who and what we are chasing, that is where we will go, thus if we are chasing after God, He will lead us to the place that He wants us to be. This may be concerning to those who have very concrete plans but to those who recognize where true fulfillment comes from it is refreshing to be reminded that chasing after God will give us the ultimate life satisfaction & direction.