Jan 232014 1 Response

A Crush, Cyndi Lauper, and a God Who Never Wastes Anything

It’s an important reminder—God never wastes anything.

Sixteen years ago I entered into a college auditorium with a few of my friends. It was a student variety show and most of the small college campus was there. I had been introduced to Jenny a few years earlier by a friend who now is my co-worker. She blew me off at the time, but I had recently been re-introduced by a different friend (who is currently the wife of a co-worker.) At the second introduction I got a much better vibe and hoped something could develop between us.

So as I entered the auditorium that night, I was looking for her. I hoped a chance encounter would possibly lead to another encounter. The theme of that night’s performance was time. The song playing when I entered the auditorium was Cyndi Lauper’s classic, Time After Time.

I wouldn’t see Jenny that night but I ran into her soon after that. One conversation led to another which eventually led to a date. At the time, my philosophy of dating was being formed. While studying psychology and living on a college campus, my view of “find one and marry one” was changing to “date, have fun, and see what happens.”

As we began to date, I tried to remind myself to not assume the relationship would make it, but instead to assume that by graduation we would break up and go our separate ways. Around the time all of this was taking place, one of the top hits on the radio was Jennifer Page’s song Crush. It became my “Jenny theme song” while we dated our senior year of college (ironically Jenny can’t stand the song). It was my reminder to have fun but know the relationship would end.

Flash forward 15 years. I’m preparing a preaching series on how to honor God with our time. I immediately think of Cyndi Lauper and hearing her song as I scanned the crowd in college looking for Jenny. It made me think we should do a song montage to introduce the series. As I think about time, Cyndi Lauper, and honoring God, the thought hits me that more people could benefit from the dating philosophy Jenny and I had in college so I wrote the blog post Dating to Break Up.

Within days, I preached a sermon and published a post which all linked to memories buried in my mind from 15 years ago. As I’ve listened this month to people respond to sermon series and interacted with people re-thinking their philosophy of dating, I reflect in amazement at how God uses every detail of our lives to accomplish His will.

God never wastes anything.

He uses all things for our good and His glory.

This truth should cause us to:

Pay attention. God is always at work. If he is wasting nothing, we should be quick to take note of nearly every small detail of life so that when he does use our past circumstances, we will be able to see His work.

Have hope. If God never wastes anything, that means he will use every situation in our lives. Nothing is useless. Everything can be redeemed to have a great meaning because of God’s amazing power.

Be surprised. I think God’s pattern of never wasting anything is one way He causes us to delight in Him. Like a friend who surprises us by remembering some insignificant detail, God likes to use our past experiences to remind us of His love for us and His sovereign control over all of creation. Even in the times in which we feel as though He isn’t watching or doesn’t care, God is using every detail for our ultimate good.

The girl for whom I had a crush so many years ago is now my wife. The relationship I assumed would end at graduation never did. On the Sunday we started our January series “About Time,” we sang a few lines of Cyndi Lauper before being reminded from God’s Word that life is a fleeting gift which God has given to us so we might bring glory to Him.

It makes me wonder what minor detail of today might be used years from now as God weaves our lives into His story.

Since we won’t know until tomorrow, all we can do is trust Him today.


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