A "Wasted" Life

April 9, 2012
Cheryl Woelk |

Easter this year felt special. I guess it does every year, but I thought a lot this Lent and Easter season about the meaning of all of this in a way that I haven't before.

In our reflection time on Sunday, I wrote:


"What does Easter mean to me? I don't really know exactly. And this is the trouble. I know what it's supposed to mean, or at least what I've been told repeatedly and what we sing in songs, but I don't know if I buy it. I wonder too many things. How do I know that Jesus was resurrected? The evidence is quite sketchy. How did the disciples even know at that time? Is this whole thing based on a bunch of hunches, and glimpses of something that looked like Jesus? So what does it all mean? Just whatever I want it to mean?...


...Yet there's something in my experience of community, and this worship space, and this people who tell the story together and imagine  -- questions and all -- what it might mean…


...But it does make a difference. The stories we tell make a difference because we play the role of our story, and our acting shapes our lives. If we tell the story of a resurrected God, that means death is not such a big deal anymore. The fear is gone -- not the sadness and grief, but the fear -- so we have a chance to live in a different way, free from fear.


Taking more risks for love… like the pastors in China that my aunt shared about who talked about living "recklessly" because this life is not the end. With the story of the resurrection, they can act out a "reckless" life of giving to the poor, serving those in need, and not storing up markers social and economic prestige. They know they're taken care of in the long run, so they can "waste" their lives on insignificant things like working for justice in hopeless situations that never seem to change…


It's a strange thing to think about. How am I wasting my life? Maybe I'm not. Not reckless enough with my love and my service. I'm too careful with this life, spending it safely here and there. Dishing it out in thrifty portions. Perhaps I need to hear the resurrection story again… to live into the "wastefulness" of a life lived in love and without fear."


May the Easter story make your lives recklessly loving, wastefully service-filled, and foolishly hopeful.

Author Name: 
Cheryl Woelk
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