Growth can come from some of the most unexpected places and from the most unlikely of sources.
One summer, when I was a kid, I went to visit my grandma in upstate New York. Once we hit the old country roads, the excitement began to build because I knew we were getting close. Those humid weeks were filled with memories of eating my weight in her famous canned peaches, sunset drives down dirt roads, deer-watching after dinner, bowls of popcorn during our nightly Golden Girls episode… and playing around heaps of trash.
See, my grandparents owned a junkyard, and their humble, cozy abode sat on the edge of a lot filled with mangled metal.
I would ride my bike around the piles and parts of auto-junk while my grandma tended her garden, all the while adding throwaway scraps of food and vegetation to her compost pile. For me, just a peek at this pile was enough to gross me out. But I’ll never forget what she taught me through it.
She told me how that compost mess was made up of small scraps of “waste,” and in time, the scraps would break down to make a fertilizer rich with nutrients, which delivered more food for her garden than anything you could find at the local nursery. As my grandmother, and just about every other brilliant gardener has figured out, something that is so easily discarded turns out to be the best ingredient for creating beautiful flowers and healthy produce: a “waste” that feeds and nourishes something beautiful and fruitful.
It’s no accident we see the Lord work in the same way—by using moments and circumstances we tend to regard as wasteful but are in fact rich with nutrients, to help us grow and know him better.
The busy world we live in can lead us to believe the time we take to rest, listen, and draw near to God is a waste of time. What product of our labors do we have to show for a half-hour spent in prayer, or stolen moments soaking in God’s word, thinking about him, or worshipping him for something he’s done? The time we take to slow down, put aside our tasks and projects in order to “waste” time with our Father in Heaven, the way a child might savor an afternoon of nothing but being with his or her dad, is beyond precious, and we need to think of it differently.
Here are three reasons why the time you “waste” with God is the most valuable way for you to spend your time.
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Andreas Dress