Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Are we Really Wasting our Lives and Resources?

Meditation for the week of March 13, 2011

Mark 14:3-4 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.  But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted?

Mary took what may have been the equivalent of a year’s wages and wasted it by anointing the Lord with spikenard that had that value.  Judas at the same time seemed to think that he could profit from the Lord’s ability to deliver himself and he did what any prudent capitalistic business man would do.  He sold the Lord for the price of a slave.   Why should he not capitalize on the Lord’s abilities without regard to  where those abilities came from and without regard to the Lord’s reasons for using those abilities?  Mary went down in history as being devoted to the Lord and her devotion is included in many good Gospel sermons.  Judas committed suicide.  He is also included in many good Gospel sermons as an illustration of what not to do. 

The Lord says that if we save our lives we lose them and if we lose our lives we save them. Everything seems backward to the person who does not love the Lord or believe in life after death. There are many who think that since we really don’t “know” what happens when we die, we should live for the here and now.  Otherwise they think that we may be wasting these short lives that we have been given.

Recently, we got up in the morning to the news that Japan had been devastated by an earthquake (actually multiple earthquakes and a resulting tidal wave).  In Japan many people work long hours in order to “get ahead”.  There were many people who had likely planned out their lives and were working hard at fulfilling their dreams who are now in eternity.  I wonder if they feel that their lives were meaningful or wasted now that things have taken an unexpected turn.   There were others who likely understood that spiritual things should take precedence over practical things and who prepared for the unexpected events that occurred.  If they died in the calamity of last week, at least they didn’t waste the time that God had given them on this earth to prepare to meet their God.

Many people seem to think that life is mostly about eating and drinking, clothing ourselves, having shelter from the elements and having a little fun along the way.  Others want to amass great wealth, even though they leave it all behind when they die.  Some like King Solomon search for great wisdom and understanding, however, that wisdom and understanding is often wasted since the younger generation is going to “live their own lives” and “make their own mistakes” anyway.  The older generation has unwisely taught them that this is right.  People generally don’t want to waste their time on eternal matters since they are busy trying to live for the here and now even though they know that living for the here and now is really a frustrating waste of time.  Spending our time on spiritual matters and devoting our time to things that please the Lord and that don’t please the world is not a waste of time—when we realize that we have an eternity ahead.

I have a friend who is an artist.  He has been able to chronicle his and his wife’s lives by displaying his art work in two rooms and adding the important biographical information with each picture or set of pictures.  He has accomplished a lot and yet it is all contained in about two rooms at the college where he taught.  About ten years ago, he took the time to begin studying the Bible.  I am sure that to many that would be an incredible waste of time when he still had the ability to paint pictures, write poems, and produce sculptures.  Studying the Bible took time that he could have used to do “something really important.”  But I suspect, when life is over and he meets his Maker, the time in the last ten years “wasted” on the Bible and spiritual things will turn out to be the most important and profitable part of these last ten years.

I would much rather waste my money like Mary did that to waste my life like Judas did.

Bruce Collins

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