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Best Used By  

 

It’s the job nobody wants.  So it rarely gets done.  I speak of the Great Refrigerator Clean Out.

But my fearless friend, Chris, recently undertook the task on the 10th floor where we work, as he knelt before the Great White Beast that chills our lunches.  Arms flailing, he yanked drawers open, blasting through shelf after shelf of post-dated delicacies. 

Me?  I, umm, stood by and typed careful notes on my iPad.  Among the things we encountered:

  • A partially consumed water bottle—best used by 2017.
  • A bottle of sriracha sauce—best used by September 16, 2016.
  • A jug of Catalina dressing—best used by November 15, 2013.

We found outdated steak sauce, outdated Tabasco, and outdated Hershey syrup, along with a small container of brown crumbly something-or-other that was undated but appeared mutated. 

The freezer yielded ice cream from one full year ago and had the appearance of frozen dust. We surely did not need a label to tell us it was long past any “best used by” date.

Our quest for questionable eats got me to thinking.

God has entrusted every one of us with certain gifts, talents, and abilities.  They are merely on loan to us—but not forever.  Because “it is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment,” there is a “Best used by” date for every one of those gifts.

None of us knows when we’re going to die, just that we will die.   Only the foolish live as if there’s no expiration date. 

Turns out you and I have a relatively tiny slice of time to do whatever it is Christ has called us to do. Live a “long” life, and you will see only about 80 Christmases.  A surprisingly few sunrises and sunsets. And even fewer full moons.

So what of God’s gifts are going unused in your life—and mine?  Time to get busy.  Before the “Best used by” date comes ‘round! 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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