Go ahead, waste your life (a little)

Not Wasting Your Life is a popular theme among contemporary pastors these days. John Piper wrote a book about it, which inspired Louie Giglio to preach an entire sermon series about not wasting your life, which inspired Ben Stuart to join the party, talking about family specifically. And of course John Piper’s sassy protégé Matt Chandler has also chimed in about not wasting your cancer.

Lemme just say, I adore all of these pastors for various reasons, and it’s not like I want to wake up some day and realize my entire life has been spent building a career I don’t find fulfilling, or that I have no friends IRL because I spent all my time online getting into arguments with social media randos.

Many times these sermons begin with sobering stats on how much time we spend on doing “insignificant” activities — e.g. “Did you know that over the average human lifespan, you will spend x days watching tv (gasp!), x years commuting to work (groan!), x days removing unwanted body hair (giggles), x hours reading nonsensical Galloblog posts (#worthit) ?” These stats are meant to strike fear into hearts as we realize how little time we actually spend doing important things like rescuing puppies from burning buildings and sharing the gospel to all nations.

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Don’t get me wrong – I do think that our life has definite highs and lows, and the highs should be celebrated. There is also nothing wrong with being somewhat conscious of how we delegate our time, and to consider cutting out nonsense that seems to suck us in for hours and hours and serve as escapism (video games, I’m glaring at you!).

BUT I would also like to suggest that freaking out and trying to minimize all the time we spend doing “insignificant” things, and trying to cram in oodles of significance into every moment isn’t only unrealistic… and likely to give us an ulcer trying… it’s also not particularly biblical.

Think about, oh I don’t know…. Jesus! Do we sit around and bemoan his 30 “wasted” years? I mean what was Jesus doing pre-ministry anyway? He was a carpenter, right? What else? I imagine he probably… ate. Did rando chores for his household, whatever that looked like b.c.. Kicked around town with his bros…? Who knows? What we do know, or at least claim as Christians, is that he lived the perfect life, correct? Then I think it’s safe to say that would include his entire life, not just the last 3 years of life.

And not just Jesus — almost every major biblical character had long periods in which they just “did life.” Worked. Survived.

Even if you’re not a Christian, I think there’s something to be said for CHILLING THE POO OUT! I’m going to boldly assert that the meaningfulness of life is less about doing something super impressive and record breaking at every single moment of your life, and more about developing good character and enjoying all the rando gifts of life as you go about the ordinary. Go ahead – belt some 90s pop while you fold your laundry. Watch a little tv and cuddle with yer boo. Pet a dog. Shop for groceries. Drive to work. Take a nap … as *part* of your life. Obvs, you don’t want these things to be the entirety. But they’re not just permissible, I’d say they’re advisable.

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Just part of life, chicaboo. Get over it *smooch*

I’m not saying to abandon your dreams and goals,  or not to work hard, or stop trying to pursue a life of meaning and significance … but I urge you to do all these things as a human being, not a streamlined robot. Trust someone who has tried that and failed miserably – you will fail. Or worse, succeed, and fail at other things that matter more.

Okey dokes, go out and putter around town! ❤

 

No, God did *not* tell that guy He wants y’all to be together

[NOTE: I don’t harbor any ill will or contempt for the persons mentioned in the story below. But if someone has to go through these insane-o experiences, others might as well learn from them!]

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^How Sydney felt (smoochies to Pixabay for the free image)

So my friend* Sydney found herself in a situation a few years back in which (I believe) a well-intentioned but misguided Christian man was convinced that he and Sydney were supposed to be together. And she just wasn’t feelin’ those kinda feels. But then he played the “but I think this is God’s will,” card and Sydney panicked. She tortured the interwebs with search phrases like “does God want you to date someone you’re not attracted to?” or “is it possible that God will tell one person but not the other that he wants you to be together,” etc. etc. (Google be like “showing results for psychiatrists near you “) She grew agitated with God. Praying didn’t seem safe because she was so afraid God would confirm this .. coming together .. that turned her stomach.** It took several of her Christian mentors looking at her incredulously and saying “No! This guy is trying to manipulate you. to keep Sydney from having a major crises of faith. And lo and behold, they were correct. She is single and sassy to this day, y’all! *praise hands*

This wasn’t an isolated event, either – another friend of mine, Kelly, had a similar experience. Another (I believe) well-intentioned but misguided Christian man told her he knew God wanted them to be together AND she should break things off with her fiancé (At least Sydney was single. Geez laweez, Papa Cheese!). Fortunately for everyone, Kelly wasn’t impressed with his claims of divine guidance and held her ground. And lo and behold, now she’s happily married AND the insta-prophet — who was so spiritually arrogant he was willing to basically steal another dude’s betrothed — is now happily engaged to another woman.

So why tell you this? Certainly not to make single Christian men – or Christians generally – look like complete crazies, but to 1) ease the tortured mind of any girls who might be legit confused because someone is using the Holy Spirit to MANIPULATE THEM and 2) to admonish men who have used this this form of spiritual abuse to CHECK THEMSELVES (or if you have brochachos who do, CHECK YOUR BROCHACHOS).

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^This guy totes looks the part of a Blasphemous Bobby. (ty for the free image, pixabay!)

 

Blasphemous Bobbies: if God wants y’all to be together, it will happen. Don’t mistake your shouting hormones with the still, quiet voice of God Almighty. If you think that a girl you’re interested in is not responding to the Cupid nudge of the Holy Spirit, then I would strongly suggest praying that she would hear his voice directly &/or through her spiritual mentors. If it’s divinely ordered, I’m sure He can get the job done without your interference. As Matt Chandler pointed out – taking the Lord’s name in vain is more than saying “Oh my G*d!” but the heart behind the commandment [you shall not take the Lord’s name in vain] is that God will not be co-opted, and you will not use the authority of the Lord to flex power and manipulate and coerce others (12:45 – 13:00). So don’t vainly use God’s name to manipulate some bewildered Christian woman.

Bewildered Betties: although I’m not aware of any biblical precedent for this sort of thing, God is very clear that “[love] does not insist on its own way” (1 Cor 13:4). And if you read the juicy and provocative Song of Songs, it’s pretty clear that the bible celebrates being wildly attracted to your man. So I really, really doubt God will torture you with someone you genuinely find creepy. God is not a bully, and I don’t think he wants you to be with one, either. But neither does the Galloswag want to use the Lord’s name in vain (I mean, God did tell Hosea to marry a whore) so by all means, if you’re in this situation please talk to a lot of mentors. There is wisdom in many counselors (Prov 11:14), but make sure those counselors are legit.

So praise Jesus for fulfilling the Priesthood, Law, AND Prophets so He can communicate it directly to you… and will very likely NOT speak “a word” through Blasphemous Bobby that so conveniently fits his relationship agenda and violates yours.

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Hallelujer!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

* 😉

**Sydney finally said [through gritted teeth] “I’ll do it if you want me too! But Father if there’s ANY other way, take this cup from me.. !”  And maybe that surrender is why God allowed all of those shenanigans. But the main point is, no one should subject anyone to this sort of soul torture.