A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse

A heart for those who want more of God. A desperate plea for those who don't.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Discerning Wastefulness

Well, I’ve arrived at the oasis spoken of in my last posting. And so now here I am, sitting in solitude in my home in the afternoon on a Wednesday, enjoying the sound of nothing but fingers hitting the keyboard, watching my cat sleep in an incredibly awkward-looking position. What a haven this is for me, an introvert who – though she adores being with her friends and can speak in front of most anyone - is by far most comfortable tucked away amidst her books and furniture.

I’ve been waiting for this day to come.....now what will I do?

I feel a great desire to live only among possessions that have an intentional, fruitful purpose to their being here, and therefore to simplify by removing all the excess. But not only do I need to do that with our stuff, but also with the choices made in how I/we spend our time. I’ve been so convicted of my wastefulness – wastefulness in so many areas of life – and I’m tired of being entangled by things that have little to no purpose. So I’m determined that with these few hours of free time afforded to me, it is going to be spent on things that will produce an abundant harvest......exercise and quality rest some days, reading and writing some days, serving in worthwhile, spiritually-invested manners some days, and genuine relationship-building on others. At the end of each day, I need to be able to evaluate what I’ve done and see that there is only waste where there is a call for waste. After all, Jesus honored the woman who anointed Him with her expensive perfume that could’ve been used in so many practical, need-meeting ways......the point is, she was so intentional and pure in motive with her waste, it wasn’t considered waste at all in Jesus’ eyes. This isn’t about being stingy and rigid. It’s about being intentional and thoughtful, which may mean letting go of something valuable to me - or something I feel I bring great value to - and instead pouring it over Him in worship and watching the drops spill all over the place with no possible plan in place to retrieve them. Here, we're shown that waste isn't waste at all.

I think I would define to waste as not using something to its fullest known potential, and that gives me a framework in which to measure my stuff, my time, and my inclinations. It isn’t meant to bring any sense of perfectionistic pressure, but merely it serves as a call to realize that each moment was intentionally created to bear fruit for the gospel, and so then I can check my motives in any moment and ask myself if whatever I’m about to pursue will aid in producing the harvest the Lord is due......and is expecting.

I haven’t taken this seriously enough. I’ve let so many moments go by – so overwhelmingly too many to grasp – that I cringe in distress over how self-absorbed and/or oblivious I’ve been in my walk over the years, as one who should and does know better. But as quickly as I typically fall into self-defeating melancholy and then dogged in shame, I hear a gentle reminding that “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”, and that my calling is not to appoint myself as a junior-grade Holy Spirit and get to work on myself and all the ways I come up short, but simply to be with Jesus. He does the changing work.


  1. There is great wisdom in your realizations...."simply to be with Jesus", but that doesn't mean inaction in our lives! God has revealed this to you! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You're absolutely right, Jerri. I've learned that we do the work of obedience, while the Spirit does the work of transformation. There's a difference!
    Thanks for your comment!