Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

What a waste! Those three little words can mean so much depending on what you’re talking about.

For some, it can refer to the wastefulness of our society where we throw food away while our neighbors go hungry. For others it can be a comment about a life not well lived, a life that somehow didn’t live up to its potential and was wasted regardless of the reasons.

The reality is that no matter how hard we follow after God, most of us have not lived our lives well. A trail of waste is left by broken dreams, broken relationships and broken potential.

But waste is a funny thing, because as the saying goes ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’.

In my little corner of the world the wine grape crush is coming, and the vineyards are gearing up for the fast and furious harvest that will ultimately result in a variety of different wines.

The other day, I was talking to a vineyard owner about the crush, and he made the offhand comment that at his vineyard they don’t just throw the grape skins, seeds and stems away when they start the wine making process, they turn that sludge into compost that feeds other aspects of their agricultural world.

And I’m not talking about just a few little grape skins, a couple of seeds and one or two stems, there are tons of this stuff that need to be dealt with that would naturally be considered waste, but this particular vineyard/winery finds a use for. Even though it doesn’t add anything useful to the wine making process, it’s used for something else. Nothing is considered a waste because a good use is found for it elsewhere.

Think about that, there is no waste.

And, isn’t that just what God does with us and the waste that we create in our own lives? We look at our pile of sludge as useless trash that we should lament and mourn because of the squander of precious time that it cost us. We don’t see anything useful in it at all. Simply put, it is worthless.

But it is not worthless to God, He uses it for His own purposes, for His own glory the minute we repent and turn to Him.

In God’s world there is no waste.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

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“When you’ve lost it all, that’s when you finally realize that life is beautiful” is a quote from someone you might not think you’d see mentioned in this kind of blog. It’s from Nikki Sixx, otherwise known as the mastermind behind Motley Crue.

It’s an amazing thing to me that so many times when we look at the stories of people’s lives, there is that point where they lost everything. They were completely stripped raw and bare, yet they didn’t let that kill them, they somehow managed to still see the beauty in what was around them. Then there are those who allow those times to kill them, and their lives from that point on are tainted with the stain of what happened to them.

Whenever I think about someone who held on to the tatters of his life, to the ragged strips of his dream, I think of Joseph. His story, his life story, continually amazes me no matter how many times I read it.

He was a dreamer no doubt about it, and possibly an arrogant one at that. Yet, his dreams came to him. He did not sit around and think about how he would like to gain power and prominence in a position that would allow him to be the giver of life for his family.

No, he went to bed, went to sleep and his dreams came to him. And it wasn’t just one dream about the sheaves of grain with his standing taller than the rest. He had a second dream in which the sun, the moon and the stars bowed down to him.

At this point most of us would think, out of our very modern perspective, that the dreams came out of his subconscious and were manifestations of his own ego.

Sounds like a good argument, except he seemed to believe that they would somehow come true, that they actually meant something and so did his brothers.

Usually when you encounter someone who’s willing to step out and say something like, ‘I dreamt this or that’ it’s because they’ve had experiences with their dreams that have led them to know, not just believe but know, that some of their dreams have credence beyond what’s going on in their subconscious.

They’ve seen aspects of their dreams come true, they’ve been able to work out issues in their dreams that overflow into the waking world with success, in short, they’ve learned that sometimes a dream isn’t a dream.

Without this background, no one in their right mind is going to step out, wave their hands in the air and proclaim that they’re a freaky dreamer. Because back then, just like now, when you step out like that, a whole lot of people are going to think you’re a couple sandwiches short of a picnic.

But Joseph knew, and his brothers knew too, that the dreams meant something more than just your average every night dream. So, he was willing to step out and tell them what he dreamt about. Foolhardy? Yes. Arrogant? Yes. Crazy? No.

So what did his brothers do to make sure that his dreams wouldn’t come true? They threw him in a pit, casually ate lunch nearby (you can only imagine his pleading cries) and sold him into slavery to a group of traders who were going into Egypt. When you look at the culture of the time, they sold him into an all but certain death.

And essentially that’s what happened to Joseph, he died. Forget the dreams, forget the fact that he was a favored son, forget everything. He was stripped of all he had ever known or had, and to make matters worse, he didn’t even own himself anymore.

Yet, this is where his life gets really interesting. He still holds on to the dreams. He still holds on to what he knew. Even though he had absolutely nothing, he still held on to what he knew was beautiful, his God. And he knew his God so well that He knew His God would follow through on the dreams that He gave him and make them a reality.

There are times, for some of us, in which God either takes away everything we have or allows it all to be taken away. Either way, it’s how we respond that matters. If we have nothing would we still say, ‘Blessed be the name of the LORD, life is beautiful’?

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Job 1:21 NIV

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