The Table Connection Week 23


A Wasted Life

by Shannon Laning

Matthew 25 (NASB)

Stephen Hawking was arguably one of the smartest men who has ever lived. Even though he was diagnosed with a rare form of ALS when he was 22 and spent most of his life confined to a wheelchair, unable to talk, his mind didn’t surrender until his body did just a year ago at the age of 76. He devoted his entire time on earth to science and proving that science can answer any question.

He famously stated in his book, “A Brief History of Time,” that understanding the universe offers a glimpse into the mind of God, which some took to mean that Hawking did in fact believe in God. He later went on to explain that what he meant was that understanding the universe gives you the mind of God and therefore God is obsolete. He asserted that he had reached the level of understanding the complexity and intricacy of the universe. And yet, of all the quotes he is most famous for about God, I believe the saddest is this: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

His quest for knowledge ended in death and his legacy is this: the smartest man in the world spent his entire life proving that order and life came from nothing and to nothing we will go when we die. So what was the point of him living? What a wasted life. For all the sadness that his arrogant and narcissist life left behind, he did get one thing right; this life is all that we have. But what the brilliant mind of this man didn’t see is that this life lasts for eternity.

Matthew 25 can seem daunting and even scary. The story of the ten virgins and 3 servants make me stop and think about the life that I am living. While we aren’t actively try to refute the existence of God, many just simply live in apathy, and our world seems to only encourage this thinking more and more everyday. “You do you,” and, “Love yourself first,” have become the mantras of what “healthy people” should be about. But if I spend my life focused solely on myself, I run the risk of wasting my time on earth.

We only have one life to live; that much is true. But what Matthew 25 reiterates is that we should spend our lives focused on eternity with God. When we focus on Him, our thoughts are not directed toward ourselves, they are instead directed toward others.

“God, how can I  honor you today?”

I may have not been granted the mind of Stephen Hawking, but I have been given the gift of eternal life. A gift so precious and at such great a cost to the giver that I should be compelled to live well. Jesus is coming back and we should be ready. Stephen Hawking undoubtedly knows now that he wasted his life. Don’t waste yours.

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