Wasted lives, wasted time, wasted words, wasted money, wasted stuff.
And, I hope that I'll be able to write this from a 'hope' perspective, not from a condemnation perspective. The hope aspect comes from the idea that everything... all this that we're wasting could be used to do something incredible.
I threw away a napkin today, and I thought about it.
That may not sound like much to you, but I'm glad that after all this consideration something as small as a napkin entered my thought process. It's a good thing.
Somewhere in the world, pennies feed people. Pennies make a difference between good health care and nothing. How would Jesus live in America? Really. Would he own a big tv? a house too big for Him? 7 pairs of shoes and whole bookcases full of books?
We think these things and then shrug them off. Despite the fact that nearly every American I know says that they have too much "stuff". We all bemoan it, and maybe have a garage sale or two - while we step back and accumulate more, newer, stuff.
I understand. I've done it. I've had the garage sale. I've hauled boxes to Goodwill. I've hauled trash bags to the curb full of stuff that, someone in the city probably could have used, I was just too lazy to clean it up and felt bad at the idea of hauling dirty stuff to Goodwill.
I get it.
But, I'm feeling more and more strongly about it.
So I'm working on the 'too much stuff' issue.
Next comes my money.
I don't have a lot of money. But I waste a lot of money. All of my electronics typically use energy even when they aren't in use. My pretty tv, unless I unplug it when I leave the house, sucks up loads of energy that costs me money.
My clothes, get dry in only 2 hrs, rather than 8-10 because I put it in a machine that uses energy, energy that costs me money, rather than string a line up and let them dry with the air God gave me.
I have a gas grill, rather than a grill I could use wood with, even though the wood is free if I collect it. I could grill more with free wood, rather than use my stove so much.
I wash my hands using hot water... even though I'm usually done with the water before it's even had time to get hot. That cost me money.
There are lots of ways to save money in household stuff:
- Go to the Library for movies (instead of paying 4 bucks at the movie store) and check out books rather than buy your own.
- Eat out less often.
- Clip Coupons
- Switch to online bill pay, or pay over the phone, which saves you a stamp.
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, with a couple of drops of peroxide (maybe some salt mixed in for scrubbing) makes toothpaste. Much cheaper toothpaste than 3.69 a tube. It can be used in dish water too, instead of dish soap.
- Use cold water for your laundry. You can put baking soda in the laundry too and apparently it acts as a softener.
- Turn off the lights. 2 o'clock in the afternoon, do you really need a light on?
Those are just a few of the ways. There are tons more.
But then, that's all about my money - what about my time?
I spend 35 dollars a month, so I can waste my time with great channels from Dish Network. Hours upon hours. I wonder, if you were able to calculate such a thing, if a person could really know how many hours of their life they'd spent in front of a television set?
"The average person watches four hours, 35 minutes of television each day, Nielsen said." - from a USA Today article.
That comes out to roughly 238hrs a year.
I don't give that number to burden myself with a weight of guilt over time lost, but to inspire myself to believe that somehow, someway, 238hrs of my life could suddenly make a difference for God. Each and every year.
I want that.
Some of the changes I'm looking at, well, I'm not broadcasting right now exactly what the end result will look like because I keep thinking it will look strange. I'm stringing clothes line in my living room right now and I figure that is going to look odd enough in itself.But, aren't we suppose to look different? Our actions are suppose to be different as well, fruits are suppose to be present, but.. does it mean anything that we all seem to see all our 'stuff' as too much yet we don't do anything about it? I'm nervous about posting this, because deep down, I don't think most of the Christians I know will understand if I look too strange.
I'm afraid that you, my few Christian readers/family members/and friends will inform me that there's nothing wrong with the things I've got. You'll use words like "moderation" and "ridiculous" and "overboard". And maybe you would all be right. But, I've gone overbard for myself for 27 years. For a little while, I'm going to go to overboard for God and see what happens.
All in all though, it isn't about the 'stuff' itself. There's nothing sinful about my dryer, or tv.
This is all about money and energy, and time which all combined equal to a life that could be used to simply enjoy God and His creation that is simply wasted, inside my house where I'm not of any use to Gods kingdom, and where the money that God has graciously given me is put to lazy uses. We're busy entertaining ourselves. While Gods children are dying. It's easy to shrug it off. But, personally, I demand a lot of God. I want to see miracles from Him, I want to see supernatural gifts of tongues and interpretation, healing, discernment, knowledge, wisdom, miracles - I want to see it.
I want to see visions and dream dreams sent from God Himself.
If I'm going to ask that much from God... I need to reassess how much of me I'm giving God.