Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Redeem the Time...Because the Days are Evil

I was shocked out of my morning slumber by this picture on CNN.com. I am assuming this is one of the persons killed by the gunman in a Utah mall.
What shocks me is the contrast between her lifeless body and the store she is in front of. It is certainly not sinful to shop at a store like this. However, I doubt anyone wants to meet the Judge of the universe after having spent 30 mins and $79.95 in this store.
This reminds me of Jonathan Edwards' 7th resolution: "Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life."


Anonymous said...

Maybe I don't get it, but why would someone not want to meet the judge of the universe after spending 30 minutes and $79.95 in this store. What's wrong with bath and body works and spending your money there?

justin said...

anonymous, you ask a great question. I'll give a short answer, but please, leave your name when you comment.

When you stand before Christ, you will want to offer more than just good-smelling skin and a decorated house. This world lies to us. It tells us that we shouldn't worry too much about death and judgment. We should just enjoy ourselves and take it easy.

Here is a question: If you knew this was your last day on earth before standing face-to-face with Christ, would you spend it browsing the latest fragrances?

Again, there is nothing wrong with spending 30 mins and $80 at a store like this. It's just not good preparation for eternity.

justin said...

Notice that I am making no judgments on this woman, simply a contrast between death and the store in the background.
I hope she was there sharing the gospel with people in the mall. I hope she jumped in front of someone else, taking the bullet for a friend or stranger.

Ken said...

As I look at the picture, Justin's statement is a reminder that we never know when, as a believer, Christ will call us home. The questions is, what will I be doing when that time comes? Watching a TV program, playing with my kids, sleeping next to my wife, standing outside of Best Buy after buying a bluetooth headset for my new phone? It is not the specific event that he is focusing on...

Thanks for this nugget Justin!

Anonymous said...

I think we are often so steeped in our culture and constant craving for things and more things that we don't see how banal and empty those things are. We don't even realize we crave (or worship) them.

Shopping is sometimes necessary, but it can also be used to attempt to fill a craving that only Christ can meet. We sometimes waste our lives, time, and money on foolish things that only last moments -- much less for an eternity. It is very hard, but I want to have eyes that see the meaning (or lack of meaning) in things and look beyond them to Christ.

And I want to enter eternity with the greatest joy that THIS is what I have been anticipating!!


Nate said...

When the time comes I hope I am with my wfie and my friends in German Resturant with a Beer in one hand and a good pipe in the other for one last time. That is good God-given times us laughing and fellowshiping with my family and friends.

But truthfully I hope I am not going to the bathroon or in the shower when it happens that is embarassing.

Nate said...

That last post was playful. But honestly to post a pic of dead girl and then write this is not how I want to go out seems very well self centered. That girl was 15 doing what normal 15 year old girls do - go to mall and shop. The same seen could have said if the woman from Proverbs 31 died when she was the market.

Just because she was not engaged in "christian activity" should not beg the question is that what "I want to be doing" but oh God but for your grace that could be me.

Christ is coming so what should I do so that my death picture is not in front of Bath &Body? Is that really the question we derive from this photo?

Or rather does the photo beg to examine the contrast between world full of sin/sinners like me/you and God's goodness and grace.

I'm not saying that your question is invalid I think its good question. But with this photo....?

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you would allow a post about some guy sitting with a beer in hand, yet not the post sent rebuking yourself.

justin said...

Somehow, when I wrote this post I knew I was going to have to clarify/explain/balance.

The point of the post was a personal reflection. The photo jarred me. Even now it is helping me live in the spirit of JE's 7th resolution. The point is to think about how you use your time because it is limited, not "don't go to B&BW."

anonymous, why are you afraid to sign your thoughts? Why would you want to express yourself in hiding? I didn't delete Nate's comment because he identified himself. He is taking full responsibility for what he is saying.

Nate, good reflections/meditations, even if you have missed the point of my post.

Nate said...


What's wrong with beer, alot of the Puritians drank it, Luther loved it? Besides I said a beer not being drunk. The fact that I like beer doesnot disqualify my statment. The question is what would you like to do? Sitting around enjoying my family, fiends, and the good things all for the glory of God, because I am thankful for each of them and see them as provisions from Him. Is that not glorying God?

Justin knows me and knows I like him and really respect him. I just question the use of the pic of a dead 15 year old to publicaly ask the questions is this what I want to be doing when I die? Honeslty I think it is abit calous(sic?) but I know Justin is not calous. So I told him my perceptions without judgeing him. Justin rocks that's why I read his Blog and like any friend I want to tell him if I have a different perception.

Nate said...

even if I do miss the point of his statement..... ;>)

Anonymous said...

Justin,Brother I didn't mean to criticize your thinking. . . i just found the statement "I doubt anyone wants to meet the Judge of the universe after having spent 30 mins and $79.95 in this store." to be judging this dead woman. I realize this may not have been your intent at all. However, for those of us that do not know you it came across that way. That was all I was trying to say. We should be thinking and living as it is the last day of our lives and striving to glorify God in those moments.

Although beer is not sinful in moderation your statement did not clarify. We are to be careful to avoid putting stumbling blocks in the path of others.

My entire purpose here has been to warn you of how you come across in your posts.
Seeking to Glorify Him

cavman said...

I guess what struck me about the photo was the apparent lack of concern on the part of the person standing there, to the fact that a person has been murdered a few feet away.
He seems quite unmoved by the slaughter of the imago dei that has happened.
Obviously, I can't read his mind. But his posture/pose seem out of sorts with the reality surrounding him.

Rob Tombrella said...

Justin, this is why you need Carol Steinbeck. Ask Piper for her number.

The point is that life "is transient--short lived. Can thou bear this my soul? In me dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived whose zeal for God's house consumed Him."

Edwards more powerful resolution for me is #9 and fitting for the picture:

Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death

The Taras Family said...

Yikes, I hope I never feel justified in spending $79.95 on lotion! (what is funny to me is how did you know that was a bath and body works store? I had no clue! LOL!)

It doesnt matter to me where I am when the Lord takes me home...I just pray He find me faithful. (and I pray he doesnt find me wasting 80 bucks! LOL!)

The Taras Family said...

oh, that was me writing (sarah)
-I forgot it says "the taras family" now