Worth While Waste of Time

“But Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.”

– John 5:17

Time is money, so they say. I suppose in business that saying works just fine but society seems to tell us that its principals should be applied in every aspect of our life. We shouldn’t mossy about, wasting our time or other peoples time. That’s why we have fast fast-food and high-speed internet. We don’t need to go to a store anymore, we can order our things on-line and have it delivered to our door step. Sure, some of it derives out of requiring more convenience to get more done but it really makes for an impersonal way of life. Although, you would think, that in the interest of time, we would see more “full-service” gas stations, right? I suspect that convenience of life has mainly been done away with because of something more sinister. It became to invasive and opened opportunity for things like conversations. When the lie of “time is money” enters into a relationship it stems from a direct lack of concern for something (or someone) other than yourself. It is a lie, that comes from the enemy of our soul that says, “I don’t need other people and they don’t need me.”

A very interesting event recorded in the gospel of John, 4:1-26, captures this lesson well. Jesus feeling that it is time to leave Judea, decided to return to Galilee. Rather than taking the more direct shorter route, He chose to go through Samaria. Now, for a Jew, Samaria is a place to be avoided at all cost because the people there were considered unclean by Jewish standards, to say the least. I like the old KJV of John 4:4 that says, “And he (Jesus) must needs go through Samaria.” The translation of that particular verse while grammatically unappealing, really emphasizes Jesus’ deep need to be inconvenienced. Most of us are familiar with the events that soon unfolded. Jesus, meeting a woman of Samaria at a well, fulfills her most deepest need of receiving “living water.” A need that this poor wayward woman would never have received  had Jesus (and his disciples) not been inconvenienced by traveling through Samaria,

Just the other day I was abundantly blessed to have spent quality fellowship time with a good friend and brother in Christ. The evening was supposed to have started out with a men’s bible study; a group of six men. One person was unable to attend because he and his wife just had a baby, two guys were leaving for an extended vacation and one was terribly ill needing rest. As the day worn on, it became more apparent that the easy, convenient thing to do would be to cancel. I am so very glad we didn’t. My dear friend came and ate supper with us last night. Latter that evening, we laughed, shared stories, prayed for our church family- our brothers in Christ and left each others company feeling the manifest presence of a living God; King Jesus, loving us through what the world would call the inconvenience of wasting each others time.

It can be said by the world around us that it is a waste of time to gathering together in a Sunday morning service, to care about others. Even my own childhood upbringing taught me to mind my own business. Yet Christ shows us that it is never, ever a waste of time to patiently pray to the Lord.  Nor is it ever an empty sacrifice to lay down a surrendered heart or lift hands of adoration to Heaven in worship of a Holy Savior.

So often we stare at our watches, taping a foot waiting impatiently for the service to end, for the traffic light to change, for the work whistle to blow and for our days to end. When our time becomes more valuable than another persons needs, or we think that we ourselves no longer matter to others, we miss out on the precious opportunity of meeting and receiving “living waters” from the God of the Universe.  My friend who came to visit us yesterday, told me I was worth it, that my family was worth his time. Jesus, showed the Samaritan women at the well that her life, was worth it; that her need was worth his time and love. It is easy to busy ourselves with things that have no real eternal value. It’s ironic that those things we fill our time with really are a waste of our time and the things that inconvenience us somehow through the miraculous orchestration of the Holy Spirit breathe life into us.

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How many times in the course of a day do we look at things- people even, and decide they are a waste of our time? Where is it that you “must needs  go” today? Who is God calling you to be inconvenienced for today? Do you think your worth God’s time? Well you are! Trade the lies and your inconvenience for the love of the One who holds time in the palm of His hand!

e.perry

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One comment

  1. Really important stuff, Eric. Counter-cultural for our society and for the modern American church. But so needed if we are to rediscover New Testament Christianity. After all, the whole point of authentic, biblical Christianity is the invitation into deep, personal relationship with God and the people of God (1 John 1:3; John 17:3). When this life is over, we’ll find that we never really SPENT time in meaningful relationship with people or meaningful worship of God, we INVESTED that time. And the return on our investment will be forever.

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