Don’t Waste Your Life


I read John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life some time back and was struck by the following illustration of what he considered to be a wasted life.

“I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “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.”

At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells.

Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.”

When I finally ‘retire’ I want to continue to contribute to building a kingdom that will last forever. That’s just what Bob and Christine are doing. Take five minutes to watch the video and let them inspire you.

You might not be able to commit all your time and resources in the way that Bob and Christine are doing but maybe you could consider sponsoring a child through Compassion.

You may even decide that you’d like to do a little more and help organise a Compassion Sunday for your church.

Whatever you do, don’t waste your life.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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1 Comment

  • We’re going through this book in depth at dBay Baptist at the moment with the youth and young adults. Each week I preach on the main theme of a chapter and by Tuesday everyone has their own copy and have read the chapter which we then do a Bible study around.

    There have been many things that I have found profound in the book, moreso this time with the depth I am going into it (I have read it previously).

    Great words of wisdom, my heart is to see the young people of my church grasp the need to not waste their life at a young age and not wait till experience and time catches up with them.

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