Whenever someone prefaces a conversation with “I was playing video games for like 8 hours this Saturday,” or “I binged watched the whole first season of (insert favorite show here) on Netflix last night,” I normally ask them one thing.

Do you know what opportunity cost is?


It’s one of my favorite terms.

Wikipedia describes it as, “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.”

Keyword is alternative.

Basically, whatever one chooses to do–in this case, frivolous entertainment–one has an alternative option in which they could have done something else and benefited.

You watched a show for 14 hours? If you worked a minimum-wage paying job and earned an overwhelming $7.25 an hour, that means that you could have made a whopping $101.50. So by not using your time wisely, you’re actually cheating yourself on beneficial alternatives.


Ever since I learned that word in economics, my downtime was forever haunted.

Knowing that people my age have the same 24/7/365 time frame like myself and come up with amazing inventions, become musical professionals, start multi-million dollar companies, learn a task that is helpful to their future and so on and so forth, while I play video games 7 days a week while only breaking for sleep, movies, or nourishment.

I’m not saying that video games and tv shows are the devil.

I’m just saying… opportunity cost applies to it.



I have a love/hate relationship with the Bible.

I love it when it speaks positively to me on things that I’m doing well on.

I hate it when it calls me out and I know that I need to change.

Author/Pastor/Theologian Tim Keller once said,

If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself.

How painfully true.

That means that if you are saved and you read the Bible and spit out what it prescribes, then you need to check yourself.


The apostle Paul, who was formerly Saul, was a man dedicated to the persecution of Christians. The Bible intros him in Acts by referencing that he was guarding the coats of some men who were wailing stones on Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity.

On one of Saul’s many journeys, Jesus appears in a bright light, knocks Saul off his donkey onto his donkey and asks him,

“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9:4-6)

He was witnessed to, saved, taught, healed, and went on to write over 2/3 of the New Testament (the second half of the Bible).

His prestigious missionary journeys consisted of being shipwrecked multiple times and checking into the filthiest of prisons for extended periods of time. It was there where Paul learned a lot about God and wrote encouraging letters to churches. One of them was this open letter to the church and people in Ephesus.

God saw it fit for that to be in our Bibles today and I believe that it is applicable to us in this day and time.

Chapter 5, verse 15 of that letter starts by saying,

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,

16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

CAREFULLY.

NOT AS UNWISE BUT AS WISE. The contrast alludes to the fact that if you aren’t careful, you are unwise, and if you are then you are wise.

Then he writes in an almost beckoning manner to making “the best use of the time.”

Other translations say, “making the most of every OPPORTUNITY.”

Why?

Because the days are evil.

And he ends that thought with emphasis on not being foolish but devoting yourself to understanding what the Lord’s will is.

What is the Lord’s will?

I could list hundreds, but the main one is simply don’t waste your life. Don’t be foolish. Strive to know the truth. God’s Word is truth. The truth is the Bible. The Bible contains God’s will from start to finish. Paul simply emphasizes, “Hey, the times are wicked and days are short, so make the most of it, and you can do so by getting to know more of God.”



I’m 24 and here recently I cannot tell you how many times I felt like I’ve wasted opportunities. Opportunities with people, hobbies, schooling, interviews, weekends, entertainment, learning, jobs, ministry, family, money, career endeavors, etc. For a while it seemed like that if I held onto 2 things well, 7 gajillion other things would disintegrate behind me. At one point I told a friend that I felt like I was juggling samurai swords that are on fire while I have T-rex arms.

I tried to make the most of opportunities.

I tried to be wise.

I tried to understand what God’s will is.

For a short while, believe it or not, I THOUGHT I WAS DOING IT!

OH YEAH!

Yeeeeeehaaaawww!

I have wrangled down God’s will for my life into submission!

What’s next God?

I’m ready for the big leagues, God.

I’m ready for an upgrade, God.

I’m ready for the nations, God.

Silence.

Followed by that all disappearing and me feeling like I was WASTED on the video game, Grand Theft Auto V.

Gunned down by unintentional friendly fire.

Lying in a pool of my own ego.

Slowly respawning into the middle of nowhere further back than I had “achieved.”

I was ashamed to look people in their face.

Worried to pick up the phone, open up messages or have conversations because I knew that each one would be laced with a different variation of the question, “What happened?”

I freaking hate that question.

Let me go ahead and throw, “So, how have you been?” in there, too.

Don’t ask me that.

I used to think it was lonely at the top. I was misled.

People now conversed with me like I have visible, hideous, limb-rotting leprosy and I was in a wheelchair. It was new to me. I had never been perceived that way before. I’d always had it together. Never stopped smiling. Always on the pivot between hilarious one-liner and fitting Bible-verse spitting.

Not any more.

I felt like I lost it.

I would constantly ask myself “What’s happening to me?” I still do so.

I assumed I was being punished. I lay down in bed with a countenance so glazed over I could hear my heartbeat.

I drove my car and occasionally would have to turn off the radio because my thoughts were too loud.

I still don’t know how to mute them.

Next stop must be boils from head to toe.
At one point I think I called myself Job, Jr.

Then I remembered all that he endured and stayed in my lane.



II Corinthians 4:16-18 reminded me of my purpose.

It stirred up the truth that I had always known but never repeated to myself.

It shed light in the dark.

Paul wrote,

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

How do I apply this verse to my life every day?

I quote it and adlib into it over and over.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart.

I make this personal and remind myself that I, SHAMA, do not lose heart. I do not worry. I do not stress. I am not discouraged because I am not forgotten by God.

Even though our outward man is perishing,

Even if the Shama I look at in the mirror looks wasted. Even if everyone around me asks me multiple times “Are you okay?” because they can tell that even though my mouth says it, my face doesn’t convey it.

yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

The Shama within me, my soul, is being refreshed and respawning daily. He’s not defeated. He’s not a loser. He’s consistently upgraded not by my own power or might but he is striving to know the Lord’s will.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,

The reason why I don’t lose heart even though I look like I’m wasting away is because my current issues that need tissues are lighter than a balloon and are so short in the timeline of eternity.

is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

The things that I’m facing are putting in overtime to make sure that I experience the maximum amount of God’s presence.

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I am reassured to make the most of every opportunity and that I’m not as wasted as I feel because Paul reminds all of us to close our eyes and to look to things that are unseen by faith. Not blindly trust the process but confidently rely on the promises of God that we can’t lay eyes on. Those things are eternal and in comparison to Shama’s worst day, mean absolutely nothing.



I don’t know where you are in life but I want to encourage you.

You’re not alone. God’s in control and there’s nothing that happens or you make happen that catches Him off guard. I know sometimes you feel worthless. I know sometimes you feel wasted. Look up, Friend. Don’t focus on the things you can see. Meditate on the things you can’t see. Romans 10:17 says, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Get in the Word. Block time out of your day. Mark it down. Have a plan. Take notes. Memorize verses. Arm your inner man/woman. Build your substance of hope and evidence of the unseen.

You’re not wasted.

Why?

Because you were created by a good, good God and He has a plan for your life.

I CAN’T SEE IT?

Me neither, my friend. Trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5)

HE HAS LET ME DOWN?

I know that feel. He hasn’t. His ways aren’t our ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

I DON’T KNOW WHERE HE’S LEADING ME?

Neither did His disciples. He’s still the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)


I don’t care how you feel.

If you count the opportunity cost and make the most of the time by learning and following through on His plan for your life.

God will hit the refresh button on your soul every morning and it’ll be beautiful.

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