Did you know that Americans make up approximately 5% of the world’s population, but we generate 30% of the world’s garbage? I confess. I think about 25% of that may come from my son’s room.

garbageAccording to one study, each year U. S. industry moves, shovels, mines, extracts, wastes, burns, pumps and disposes of around 4 million pounds of garbage, just to provide for one middle-class family in our country. We waste about a million pounds per person annually. This includes 3.5 billion pounds of landfilled carpet, 19 billion pounds of polystyrene peanuts, 28 billion pounds of discarded food, and 3.7 trillion pounds of construction debris. That’s some pretty deep, uh, stuff.

It’s a shame that so many things get used up and discarded. I wish we had more in our lives that gained value with use, instead of losing value. Wouldn’t it be great if everything were like a baseball glove that gets better the more it’s used? Or like an old pair of boots. The more they’re worn, the more comfortable they get. Maybe then we wouldn’t throw so much away.

As human beings, we get used, too. But the difference between us and an old carpet roll is that we have some say in how we get recycled. Some of us get used by our jobs or other people, and little by little the life is sucked out of us until finally, we feel discarded and exploited, ready for the junk pile. I’ve been there.

But we don’t have to feel that way. We can actually become more significant, the older we get and the more we’re used. It all depends on whom we allow to employ us.

When we devote our lives to money or fame or even to people who don’t care about us, we’ll end up feeling depleted and lifeless. But when we give ourselves to God, and allow Him to utilize us as vessels of His love, we get softer and more valuable with time. And the great thing about serving our creator is that He formed each of us with unique gifts and talents and a special purpose. When we give our lives to God and allow Him to guide our journeys, He’ll place us in situations where we get to employ those strengths. Each time we exercise our strength, it’s like a work-out. We get stronger and build our spiritual muscles.

I really like this concept, especially now that I’m in my upper . . . 20’s. Yeah. I like the idea that I’m not really getting older. I’m just becoming more useful.

I’m so glad I serve a green God. He’s all about taking spent lives and repurposing them for something beautiful and beneficial. And I love the idea that one day, when my body’s exhausted and I’m ready to move from this life to the next one, it won’t be because I’ve lost all significance. I hope it will be because my value has exceeded my current position, and I’m simply being promoted.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago,” Ephesians 2:10.

One Response to Used

  1. May 1, 2014 #

    For every trial, we find a new mountain top to rest upon. Each, higher than the previous one. The valleys may bring pain, but He brings us through the pain, more resilient, seasoned, and triumphant!

    Great message, as always. Thanks for sharing your heart!

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