A California woman took an old, outdated computer to a recycling center. On that same day across the country, perhaps thousands of people did the very same thing, disposing of computers that either no longer worked or were ancient (at least in computer years). So why is her action any different from the others? Well, the computer she was disposing of (in an environmentally friendly way) was an Apple 1.
The Apple 1 was the first computer made by the Apple Computer Company founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. It was manufactured and began selling in 1976. 200 of these computers were made by hand. Less than 70 are known to still be in existence. That being the case, the old, outdated computer that this unknown woman took to the recycling center is probably worth $100,000 to $200,000! And she thought it was just trash cluttering up the place!
You and I might gasp when we see stories like this where something of great value is treated as if it has no value at all, yet it happens all the time in every village, town, and countryside all over the world. Men and women (and often boys and girls) treat the gift of their lives, their time, their talents, etc. as if they have little value. They do not see these as a gifts from God to enjoyed, developed, used, shared, and celebrated.
Children are used as sex slaves. Desperate women find their way into abortion clinics. Teenagers fill their bodies with illegal drugs. Athletes pump themselves up with steroids to gain an advantage. The list of ways human beings cheapen themselves is lengthy.
We tend to waste our lives doing things of little or no value either here on earth or in the Kingdom. We tend to waste our gifts and talents, hiding them from others and refusing to develop them to their potential. We tend to waste our resources, choosing to spend it on ourselves in often short-sighted ways. Many of us give little thought to the seconds that tick away on the clock as if we had an in inexhaustible supply. Sadly, it is often in the final months of life that we look back and wonder why we didn’t make better choices all along the way, why we didn’t see the value of what God had given to us.
We also have a tendency to undervalue others. Each person is created in the image of God, and no matter how much that image may be marred by sin, each one is of great value to the Lord and, therefore, ought to have great value to us. People may be broken and spiritually blinded, but that does not mean they are beyond the grace of God.
The fact that Jesus died on a cross for humanity’s sin should vividly show us our value to God. “For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
In the eyes of the woman who loaded the old Apple 1 to head to the recycling center, she saw junk. In the eyes of someone who had the right understanding, it was a rare item of great value.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Junk? Trash? I want to tell you that there is Someone who looks at you with different eyes, who sees a unique creation. Broken? Yes. Beyond redemption? No. God is the ultimate Recycler. He takes your old, broken, sin-stained life, and gives you a new, restored, redeemed life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)