Thursday, January 30, 2014
Today’s Topic: Waste Not, Want Not
Today’s Text: Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”
A grandma’s wisdom is usually spot on. As a little boy I remember standing in my grandma’s kitchen in Cleveland, Ohio while she made bread. She made the most amazing bread without a written recipe. I wish she had written it down so I could taste it again, but I can still vividly remember its incredible flavor.
On the kitchen table was a huge lump of dough – probably enough for at least a dozen loaves of bread. I followed my grandma’s instructions and retrieved a large container of flour from the cupboard and brought it to her. She removed the lid, and carefully inserted her hand into the flour and grabbed just enough to spread a thin layer over the table and the lump of dough. She replaced the lid and made sure the container was out reach as she prepared to knead the dough.
Back and forth over the table she moved that dough, lifting it, folding it, punching it and squeezing it. Every once in a while she would pause, remove the lid from the flour container, and sprinkle a thin layer of flour over the table. In one such pause she asked if my hands were clean and if I would like to sprinkle the flour. What little boy wouldn’t? So I washed my hands, dried them thoroughly, and plunged my hand deep into the flour bin. Flour exploded into the air, covering not only my arms but grandma’s as well.
She stopped me with a gentle word of rebuke, and said this to me. “John, be careful. We can’t waste the flour like that. Waste not, want not.”
I asked her what that meant, and she explained in words a seven-year old could understand. “When we waste things, we will want more things. But if we use them carefully they will last longer and we won’t need more.”
I thought of that bit of wisdom from grandma when I filled me car with gas this morning. In Eau Claire we have two major competitors for automobile fuel. They are usually the same price, except when a price change is occurring. It seems that consistently one of them – and it happens to be the one I usually choose as my fuel stop – raises their prices before the other one. Such was the case this morning. A five-cent increase in gas prices was displayed on their well-lit sign. So I pulled into the other station. Nineteen gallons of gas later and I had saved a whopping $.95.
Don’t laugh – waste not, want not. It made me wonder how many other areas of my life are wanting because I am wasting? So as I remembered my grandma’s wisdom, I decided to review the five basic principles my wife and I try to live by in our management of the resources God has entrusted to us.
- I will save more and spend less.
- I will make good use of what I already have.
- I will look for the best value.
- I will budget my money, time, and energy.
- I will not confuse what I need with what I want.
I can guarantee you that when Jesus said “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much,” He meant it. How do I know? Because I am living it!
Thanks grandma for showing me how to knead dough so I don’t need dough.
Waste not, want not.