Monday, May 15, 2017

How Not to Waste Your Life

Since it came out in 2003, Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper has been on the top of my list of “Books I Should Read Before I’m Ninety."

From its title, I imagined a challenge to be involved in some charitable institution or to prioritize a neglected spiritual discipline.

While these are good and right and encouraged, I found something quite different.

The book warns that we waste our lives when we forget what life is all about.

Or Who it’s all about.

We avoid wasting our lives when we find satisfaction in God alone, no matter what our lives may include.

Imagine walking through an art gallery while constantly looking at the floor.

If the paintings could speak, they would shout at you to look up.

“Look at me! Look at me. Or you’re wasting your visit.”

Too often our gaze turns downward to the petty things of life. We’re distracted by the path, and like a sheep, we’re content to enjoy the puddles. We’re afraid we’ll lose our footing. We’re afraid we’ll miss something. We don’t want to waste our lives.

But, though our lives are built of paths and puddles and petty things, we waste them when we look only at the flooring.

Our God, Who created beauty, holds the world together, and knows our lives inside and out, says, “Look up!”

“Look at Me.”

“And be satisfied.”

An hour seemingly lost. A hard-earned paycheck quickly budgeted away. These weren’t wasted—our lives weren’t wasted—if behind our hours, our paychecks, our pettiness and puddles, we were looking up and finding our satisfaction in God.

Alistair Begg once said, “Life is a huge appetite that can never be satisfied.”

In other words, our deep down appetites won't be satisfied by life alone.

When we delight in the Lord—keeping our gaze on Him—the life we live won’t be wasted. To not miss Him, we need simply to look up. He will keep us from falling and is able to give us joy in the journey.

Before I’m ninety, I hope I’ll get it.

I hope I’ll grasp the truth that life isn’t measured by what we’ve accomplished, who we’ve been, or who we became.

Life is measured by the inner satisfaction we enjoy in the character and faithfulness of God--the One who holds our lives together while we walk the life we’ve been handed.

A true, unwasted life is one that looks up.

“Your lovingkindess is better than life.” (Psalm 63:3)

Next blog post (May 29): "Looking Up When It's More Natural to Look Down"

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