As a kid, I remember my mom telling me that I couldn’t leave the table until I had finished my plate of food. Pizza, meatloaf, chicken and spaghetti proved to be easy assignments. The trouble came when liver was the main dish, served with broccoli or some such other evil vegetable. “Liver,” my dad would say, “makes you strong, you’ll learn to like it.” I thought, “Thank God for ketchup.” The idea was that we shouldn’t let all that food go to waste; “think about the starving children in India.” I didn’t know anyone in India. Even if I did, I’m sure they wouldn’t eat the liver anyway. But I digress. There is something about wasting food that seems wrong. Much worse than that however, is the wasting of a life.
How many Whitney Houstons or Michael Jacksons or any number of people who seem to have squandered their talents and or money on foolish living die way too soon? When you think about them, after acknowledging their incredible talent, you eventually utter the words, “what a waste.”
Peter writes in I Peter chapter 4 that we are to not get caught up in the “flood of dissipation.” Dissipation means without restraint; another word for dissipation is waste. In other words, don’t waste your life spending all your time, talents and money on earthly things that will only satisfy for a short season. Instead, put your assets into things that will last long after we have left this world. In a sense, the Lord has given you and I opportunities to eat and drink of the pure milk of the Word and to enjoy gathering and eating the meat of God’s wisdom and power. Sometimes, it doesn’t taste real good at first. The truth hurts, but it makes us stronger.
Eat all the food on the table that the Lord has put there for you to eat; it will often taste like the best food you ever ate but then again, some of it won’t taste great. Eat it anyway, every bite of it. It will occasionally taste like liver, use generous portions of ketchup if necessary, but eat it. Maybe mom was right after-all.