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  • Writer's pictureCalli Townsend

Don't be useless

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

He started off class by saying, “Human labor that’s not used will be gone forever.”

When Dr. Butters told us that in Macroeconomics on Thursday, I immediately wrote it down. He thought he was teaching about aggregate expenditures, but of course, my brain is not inclined to economics so it trailed off in another direction. What he said applies to far more than just the economy. It has everything to do with purpose.

It sounds so obvious and almost cliché, but each day is a gift. I think if I would’ve heard him say that any other day, it would’ve slipped right past me, but this week was rough. I am such a purpose-driven person that things that don’t feel productive or inspiring really bother me, so I can’t say I enjoyed a week of exams, quizzes, and papers. Sure, checking each assignment off my to-do list felt productive, but this week as a whole still felt meaningless.

And then to hear my professor say, “Human labor that’s not used will be gone forever,” kind of freaked me out. Right now, I have the most potential that I will ever have. I had more potential yesterday than I will tomorrow. Granted, as I grow I will learn more skills, gain more experience, and be better equipped which will give me more potential, but as far as time goes, I will never have more time than I have right now.

Yikes. That makes me a little jittery.

I feel like this week was kind of a waste of my human labor — I didn’t have time to write for fun (yes…writing can be fun, that’s what I’m spending my Friday night doing), we didn’t get to have Bible study, and I didn’t really get to work on Club 412 a lot. It’s like all of the things that fulfill me and feel so on purpose got overshadowed by school. It didn’t feel like I lived according to my purpose.

1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

I’m sorry to say, but drawing chemical compounds doesn’t seem to be what God is really calling me to do. Yet that’s what I spent a ton of my week doing and it really did feel useless. And I bet a lot of other people feel this way, too. We’ve been created by a God who has plans for us and who has uniquely gifted us with a passion and a purpose only we can have. It’s no wonder we feel discouraged or worn out at the end of the meaningless weeks. It’s in our nature to do something with purpose and passion so when we’re not fulfilling it, we’re going to feel a little empty.

That’s not how I want to live. I get that some weeks are about just getting things done, but as for my life as a whole, it's going to be one of those fun, enthusiastic ones Paul wrote about.


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