… “Gather the fragments left over so that nothing will be wasted.” John 6:12
I remember the Christmas I got my first baby doll. I was four and it was the best Christmas gift in the history of Christmas gifts. I would have been happy with just the doll, but she came with “stuff”. She had a baby bed, with a mattress, blanket and pillow plus 3 outfits. When I was too old to play with them, my mom put them away. I remember finding them when I was in college and I realized that the bed was made from painted wood scraps and an orange crate Dad got from my Grandpa’s grocery store. The mattress was an old flour bag mom had stuffed and stitched shut. The blanket and sheet were from a worn out bed sheet that still “had some good left” in the corner. The outfits had been made out of scraps from the clothes my mom sewed for me. My mother was the queen of letting nothing go to waste. She always used to say “waste not, want not”. That kind of resourcefulness wasn’t just based on necessity; it was based on appreciation and gratitude. I’m thankful for those lessons.
I am often troubled by our “throw-away” society. Several weeks back the coffee maker at school was on the fritz and I was in the middle of a long trail of “goofs” so the little lovelies suggested I might need some coffee. When I told them the coffee maker was broken they groaned and said we needed to throw it away and buy a new one. Shortly after the conversation we headed to the carpet for a Religion lesson and the story for the day was John’s Gospel story about the loaves and fishes. I was struck by the words in verse 12. Coming on the heels of the throw the coffee maker away conversation, I guessed the Holy Spirit was sending a message!
What strikes me about this passage is that Jesus was capable of any miracle; He could make more bread any time He felt like it so why was it so important to gather up all the scraps and make sure nothing was wasted? I’m pretty sure there is a message there about not taking things for granted and about being good stewards of our gifts and blessings. This one little line has made me think about all kinds of things I might be wasting. I thought about wasted time, wasted energy and those mystery produce items located in the bottom of the crisper drawer of the fridg that get wasted. I also thought about wasted opportunities and invitations to act as the hands and feet of Christ. How many times have I wasted a chance to bless someone else’s day by sharing a friendly hello or secretly doing a chore for someone else? I suppose the biggest things I’ve wasted are chances to pray for someone instead of judging or sticking my nose where it didn’t belong. One little sentence has given me a lot to think about; now I need to be sure I’m not wasting time thinking about it instead of doing something put these words in action. I think I’ll take a good hard look at the way I use my gifts and resources through my mother’s eyes…I think she really understood this verse!
A Seed To Plant: Give some thought to the things you waste in a day then make a plan to put this verse into action.
Blessings on your day!
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