This group study kit is based on Mr. Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life. It comes with a copy of the book, a study guide, “group leader tools” (more on this later), and a ten session DVD.
Over the course of the study (which is not designed for individuals – only groups), the group will read through the entirety of the book & complete group activities and have homework assignments each week. The DVD has 10 sessions which are around 15-20 minutes long each. Now, the first part of each session is a 7-10 minute attempt to be artsy. There are videos of waterfalls and school yards and mountain ranges and the like, but it moves way to slowly through the pictures that it really seems like you have been watching for half an hour rather than just 4 or 5 minutes. There were times also, that the scenic shots (for all I could tell) did not tie in at all with the topic of that session.
The Group Leader Tools is one side of a half sheet of paper with six points on it, and basically tells the leader the order of how to do the study. I found this study to be excruciatingly slow & had heard many of the stories in the very little I had read & seen Mr. Piper elsewhere.
As far as the topic of the study…
I often hear people talking about wasted opportunities or looking back and wasting a period of their life. Some people even feel as if they have wasted their entire life. The concept doesn’t hold water for me. I truly believe that God does not waste an experience, a decision, a “mistake”. God can turn ugly into beautiful, mundane into extraordinary. As far as feeling as if you have wasted your life (as you look back on it), how are we supposed to measure something like that? God uses a variety of means to bring himself glory. Whether you are a Mother Teresa or a shoe salesman (referring to the story of D.L. Moody’s conversion), God can use what you offer him.
I think the point is not to be able to look back on your life and say from specific instances, “See, I left something, my life was not in vain”, but to be able to say, “I lived my life always ready to follow God’s leading.”
We for sure need to look at every situation as an opportunity to bring God glory and to serve him, but if we see no tangible results from our effort that does not mean it was worthless. I think that we should worry less about what we have to show for our efforts than the effort itself.
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6.8.