I’ve got a seashell on my kitchen windowsill.
I look at this seashell every morning and it reminds me not to waste my life. John Piper writes these powerful words in his book, Don’t Waste Your Life:
I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from February 1998 Reader’s Digest – a couple took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in PUnta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells…Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” That is a tragedy.
John Piper’s words are engrained in my mind. I am acutely aware that every day that passes brings me closer to meeting my Savior. The seashell in my window prompts me to live with intention and passion, to know Christ, to love and invest in others, to lay up treasures in heaven – not on this earth, to forgive, to surrender my rights, to live by faith… and to enjoy the waves on the water. ( Chris and I just went out and played in the waves for a hour so waves are on my mind! )
I don’t believe that our North American culture’s idea of retirement is biblical and I pray that Chris and I would be receptive to whatever plans God has for us as we get older. I want to go where He wants me to go and I want to do what He wants me to do. These words – Only where the Father is going – ring in my ears these days. There is no other place that I would rather be than in the center of God’s will for my life. So, my eyes are open, my ears are listening and my hands are open.
When I viewed this video of Francis Chan talking about this very issue, I wept. It moved me so deeply because I don’t want to miss the mark. I don’t want to settle for what’s “good enough” – I want what’s best – what honours God. This is what Francis Chan says:
“I meet very few elderly people whose lives make sense to me biblically… living like they’re about to see Jesus and saying goodbye to the things of this world and letting go of that stuff. How can you not be thinking about that?”
I want to age biblically. I don’t want to waste my life.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6.19 – 21