Waste not, want not….

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Chocolate malt-o-meal. My friend Scarlet loved it.


“Well, you won’t like it”, Mother said matter-of-factly and then turned her back to all of those amazing boxes imprinted with very happy cartoon kangaroos.  


I didn’t let it rest. For the next several weeks, every trip to the market included my rehearsed request for this one additional item. 


Due in part to my persuasive powers and on the other part to just being tired, my mother finally acquiesced. 


“Kandy, we are going to buy you a box of this cereal. But, I need you to understand that you are going to eat it every morning until it is gone. It’s not going to be wasted. We don’t have the money to buy things that we throw out.”


I devoutly pledged allegiance to the marsupial and selected the happiest box on the shelf. It rode beside me on the trip home. 


The next morning, as I crawled into my place at the table, I smiled at the nice steaming bowl before me. Life was good. 


As the spoon entered my mouth, I realized something was wrong. Assuming mother had’t made it quite sweet enough, I asked for more sugar….then more butter…and finally a little milk. It was an awfully big bowl and took quite a while to eat every bite of it.  It hadn’t tasted quite like I expected.


For the next four weeks, my breakfast consisted of the same chocolate cardboard. 


Somewhere into the second week, I began putting the box on the table where I could check out the kangaroo’s smile while I swallowed. Gradually, he didn’t look quite as cheery as before.


By the end of the third week, his smile mocked me and I realized that he didn’t actually eat the stuff – he’d just enticed me to do so. 


I wished for some of my dad’s oatmeal, but knew this pasty porridge was my portion.


Finally after a very miserable month, I went to school rejoicing over the empty box I’d deposited in the trash myself. I think that my grades even got better that day. 


Suffice it to say, I never again asked for chocolate malt-o-meal. 


To my mother’s credit, she didn’t let me waste it. Neither she nor God have a positive view of wasteful living. 


“You ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3).


Asking for something in order that we can then turn around and waste it is considered purposeless by the Lord. 


My mom just wanted me to finish the box. God wants us to invest His gifts for His glory. He has created us and enabled us to make a return on every investment. 


I find this very encouraging. He gives me only what He knows I can increase.


What have you been given?


He has given you this gift in order to lavishly invest it in others for His Kingdom, not wastefully spend it on yourself. 


So now, what you are going to do about it?