Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't waste your life

Rachel (name and unimportant details changed to provide privacy) left work on Friday. She waved and and said goodbye. Her smile brightened the day for many last Friday.
As it did every day.
She headed home to her family. She was 42, had 2 kids and a husband.
She worked at a Christian college--behind the scenes.
Helping families around the world.
Her co-workers wished her a happy weekend.
Sunday she worshipped God with her church family.
Monday, 2 departments gathered at her Christian college. They meet every week for a devotional and prayer time. They looked around.

No Rachel.

She was never late. She never skipped work. She viewed her job as her ministry.
The leader, the boss, got up.

"Pray for Rachel. She had a heart attack this morning while getting ready for work. The doctors are working hard, but they can't stabilize her."

We were all shocked. I don't know her very well. I remember seeing the faces of the people that morning. They were shocked. It's not exactly something you are expecting on a Monday morning. Your 42 co-worker just had a heart attack.
Less than 2 hours later, we got the email that said that Rachel had passed away.
Just like that,

She was gone.

In the presence of the Saviour for whom she lived and served.
I'm sure she wasn't expecting it. I know none of us were. The cries of alarm that floated around the office--I'll never forget them. We weren't sure how to respond. Was this some kind of sick joke? She was so . . . alive . . . . She was excited about serving the King of Kings. Day in and day out.

Now, as we look back on her testimony, we are still saddened. Obviously. She will be missed in the office. But she spent the time God gave her on this earth for His glory. She gave everything she had to serve Him. She didn't waste her time.

I know this blog was originally directed at my generation--teenagers. Since I'm no longer a teenager, I have to widen the audience. I still have a passion for teenagers. I want to help them. But no matter what age you are, you still can give God everything you have. Teenagers are notorious for wasting their lives.

Spending all their time, money, and effort on themselves.

You know I want to change that.

I want to see us give everything for God.

Rachel's testimony demonstrates that. We don't know how long we have. She was 42--a mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, servant. She used the time (even though she didn't know how much time she had) that God gave her for His glory.

I want to challenge MY generation to use the time God has given us for Him. I want us to give EVERYTHING we have--that may be money, energy, talents, or even life goals. Did you see that? LIFE GOALS. This is something I have struggled with.

Struggle with.

I have stuff I want to accomplish in my life. I have established 1 year, 5 year, 10 year goals for my life. If asked, I would say "yeah, I'm flexible--if God wants to change all that, I'm open to His leading". But am I? Are you? Have you thought about it? It's easy to say--quite another thing to step back, get rid of all your plans, hopes, and dreams, and let God direct.

James 4:14 says: "For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

It's short. It's unpredictable. We don't have long on this earth.

I was sitting in the Bible Conference sermon last night. Admittedly, a lot of what the pastor said ticked me off, but he made a lot of good applications. One thing he said in particular really stuck out to me.
He said:
"Where are all the Christians? Why aren't they out there evangelizing? We need to be sharing our faith boldly--with everyone!"
(Or something like that--it's not a direct quote)

My first response was: "We are sitting in Bible Conference. We can't go evangelize because we are listening to your sermon." OK, that was a wrong response. He had been preaching for an hour by that point, though.
My second response was: "Why aren't we Christians out there reaching the world? We have this amazing gift. We are hanging out, wasting our time, while the world goes to Hell. What is wrong with us?"

What have you been doing with your time. I know, most of you are in college--busy with homework, studying, requirements, etc. But you have some time. Go on an extension. Reach out to the world. Share what God has given you.

Don't waste your life. You don't know how long you have . . .