This is inevitably going to sound more mean-spirited than I intend it to be. Understand that there is a big part of me that admires people who can find a way to make a thriving business out of something that appears to be very remote and obscure. Even in my own family, I was a total skeptic over a decade ago when one of my sons and his wife-to-be went into a beads jewelry business venture that seemed impossible to me; but it has now become an international company connecting several continents.
Recently at my Rotary Club, the guest speaker spoke of a business he had developed that has grown substantially. It is connected to board games, where there is apparently a burgeoning interest among many people. Some of these games can cost hundreds of dollars. A part of it has to do with the game pieces, many of them being fantastical and mythical creatures of complicated shapes and sizes. These game pieces are hand painted; and being so relatively small, it is difficult to both grasp them and paint them. So this fellow who was speaking told us that his business was making (with the use of 3-D printing operations) a variety of holders that grasp the piece so that it can be painted. Beyond that, he sells horizontal brush holders and paint bottle holders (since they fall over easily). I could not imagine that the games themselves could be an industry, let alone the game pieces, let alone the need for holders for artists to paint the pieces!
I walked out that day just shaking my head at what strikes me as a waste of time from beginning to end. But honestly, I don’t get the beads thing either (though women have been excited about it ever since Wilma Flintstone). But, then again, a majority of people don’t understand how I can be enthralled by a baseball game. And such in the nature of hobbies, I suppose.
None of these things are wrong. It is all very American … very supply and demand. But what do we do with our lives that really counts for eternity? That is a legitimate question for us all, challenging us beyond the necessary duties of survival and varied hobbies of interest. Are we giving substantial time and investment to the stuff that does not burn in the end of it all?
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he told them that his prayer was for them to live a life that could be characterized as pleasing to God and “worthy.” Here are some components that Paul wrote about …
- Knowing and living wisely in light of God’s will for each individual – God does have plans for us as individuals, having gifted each disciple in unique ways to serve the body of Christ and take the gospel to the world.
- Being fruitful with the energies of life – We all have the same 24/7. Work, family, sleep already take up a lot of that time. We need to be intentional about using our abilities for eternal purposes, beginning at work and with family. Apart from intentional scheduling, the demands of life will fill our schedule for us.
- Growing ever in the knowledge of God – Learning and living the Scriptures is a continual fine-tuning process that helps us grow toward an accumulation of life investments that qualify as “worthy.”
- Finding the power to live in a fallen world with endurance and patience – There is much to distract and draw attention away from worthy life investment. Not the least of this is the hostility toward our faith (and time investment) values.
- Having a continuous attitude of gratitude – The regular remembrance of what has been done for us that has rescued us eternally from our former membership within the kingdom of darkness is a major motivator to be consciously and gratefully active to serve the one who gave everything for our redemption.
I remember growing up with a decorative hanging on the wall in our house that said, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” We have an identity as His ambassadors, His co-workers. Make it worthy.
Colossians 1:9 – For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.