Don’t Waste Your Life?

Posted: 12/17/2010 in Musings, Personal Walk, Running the Race

Angela's gift to Creed

Angela's gift to Creed, from this week's episode of The Office.

There are certain gifts that you are given that leave you questioning the motivation of the giver. Those gifts that seem to be from a heart of goodwill until you really think about it.  Not sure what I mean by this… how about an example: I have never understood why some people give bath kits, perfume or cologne to people, it almost seems akin to wrapping up a six-pack of deodorant.

“Merry Christmas I got you something I thought you might like.”

“Wow, thanks, I won’t have to buy toiletries for the next six months”

“No, REALLY, its MY pleasure”

“That was so thoughtful of you…wait, do you think I smell?!?”

While I have, thankfully, never been given deodorant, there was a series of gifts that I was given a couple years ago that left me with a similar hesitation.

Within a span of six months, I was given four copies of John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate Piper’s writing, and I have always grown and been challenged by his books, but how ARE you supposed to interpret four different people giving you a book called “Don’t Waste Your Life?”

Now, I’ll be honest, the first copy I got brought me a good deal of excitement, but each subsequent copy left me more and more jaded and suspicious. Why is it that four different people, from four DIFFERENT ministries, would come to the same conclusion that I needed this book? This seems even worse than people thinking I smell… do my friends think I am wasting my life?!?

So what do I think of the book? With the prognostic urgency that exists for me to read this book, it has to have been a wildly transformational text. Well… about that…you see, when I was moving back from Australia I shipped all four copies, along with the rest of my books back to the states.

That was two years ago today, and the box has yet to arrive.

I have mused that this precious box of books was lost in a Castaway type scenario, and currently an impressively bearded TomHanksian character is reading my lost library. And that brings me some comfort because there are books on Biology and Chemistry, some Dickens, Hugo and a considerable about the gospel. But what will this “Lost” soul do upon getting to the four copies of this book?  Will he too wonder if there is some deeper meaning in the multiplicity of this book? And, seriously, what does it look like to “not waste one’s life” stuck on a desert island?

You’d be surprised at how compelling the idea of an imaginary castaway and his realization of how to make his life fruitful could be. Compelling and almost haunting. Because while I still have slight doubts on his existence, it makes me question the fruitfulness of my life lived comfortably away from this man’s shipwrecked reality.

Couple this nudging of my overactive imagination with the question I ran into yesterday of:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

and I have decided to purchase a fifth copy of this book and to hopefully make sure that I “Don’t Waste My Life.”

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Comments
  1. […] seems like it is John Piper day here (Actually if you have never read Don’t Waste Your Life* or Desiring God both are fantastic […]

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