Productive waste of time

“Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants,

“Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.”

In the middle of serving a wedding the last thing I would want is an instruction from some guest to draw 120 gallons / 600 litres of water to fill water jars. These servants went the extra mile and filled them to the brim.

We live in a Christian culture that is interested in measurable results and productivity. Can we cope when God asks us to do something that is frankly a waste of time? It would be OK if there was nothing else to do, but life in ministry is like a kitchen during a wedding feast- busy.

So, when through the course of the ministry I am presented with something that seems a waste of time, am I willing to act on it in faith?  Am I willing to take a risk that God has some other purpose than what is visible? The servants were given an immediate reward – the water was turned into high class wine – 800 bottles! All too often, I am left with no clue as to why I have been asked to waste my life, but there is always the reassurance that if God asks me, then that is where true productivity lies, not in what I can measure.

John 2:6-7


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