LKP Treasure Trove 001: Make Me Not Idle

Welcome to the first edition of the LKP Treasure Trove

Do you find that when you get bored on occasion, you tend to do meaningless things that just wastes time? This usually occurs when you’re sitting around waiting for something to happen, or when you feel you have nothing to do. That time of meaningless inactivity can be filled with thoughts and feelings that lead to unrighteousness, so it’s important to fill each moment of our lives with meaningful activities that have lasting effects. In today’s story, a young Hebrew boy named Lemuel has this very experience. Here’s how he and his mom dealt with it.

Make Me Not Idle

The power had gone out, and Lemuel couldn’t turn in points in exchange for his daily computer time. Instead, he moped around the apartment for an hour making silly noises while walking from room to room. His mother had given him his space as she did her usual housecleaning, since she still had a good amount of sunlight. But by the second hour, when Lemuel made his way to the kitchen, where she was, and started tinkering with the toaster, she decided to say a few words to him.

“Why don’t you do something useful instead of mumbling nonsense to yourself and trying to break our toaster?”

“I’m just really bored, mom, and I wanted to get back to my word builder game,” Lemuel replied in frustration.

Mom closed the oven door and set down her spray bottle and cleaning rag. “Well, all I see you doing is wasting time on a whole lot of nothing, when you could be making good use of your time. What you’re doing is called idleness. There’s no telling when the power will come back, so it makes no sense to stew and wait for it.”

The look of boredom suddenly left Lemuel’s face, but now he looked puzzled. “What’s idleness?” he asked.

Mom thought for a second. “Well, in the sense that we’re using it, it means to spend time doing nothing. And if I remember correctly, the word ‘idle’ has its origin in ancient words that mean things like ‘empty,’ ‘useless,’ and ‘worthless.’ Do you get the picture?”

Lemuel frowned and lowered his head. “Yeah, I get it.  I don’t want to be any of those things.”

“Well, you don’t have to be. Scripture says that Yah created everything for his own purpose. And he has a purpose for each of us as well. Fulfilling his purpose in your life is the opposite of idleness, and you’re most useful when you do what you were created for. One of the reasons Yah created me is to be a good wife and mother, and part of that means keeping this apartment clean.”

That gave Lemuel an idea. “If I helped you clean, would that make me not idle?”

“It sure would,” Mom said with a smile. “And how about we play our own word builder game while we tidy up?”

“That’d be fun!” Lemuel said. “The first word will be . . . ‘purpose.’ ”

NOW, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you feel you fill every moment of your life with purpose? Whenever we are active and doing things with purpose, whether it is helping out around the house, doing our responsibilities, or any other useful activities, our minds and hearts don’t have time to fill up with idle thoughts, which can lead to idle and unrighteous actions. So the next time you feel bored like Lemuel, remember what Yeshua tells us in Mark 7:15: “You are defiled by what comes from your heart.”

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