rebelling against low expectations

Don’t Waste Your Life


Dust gathers on my keyboard, maple leaves stick to pavement, tests keep me awake at 12:30 a.m., shuffled papers and empty coffee mugs clutter my desk by the window, and I sit, staring into space, with so many thoughts I cannot fathom into words.

Sometimes I have to wonder if the world really does spin faster as we get older, time slips between our fingers like sand, and the ticking of the clock never slows, never wavers.

We as young people are told our goal in life should be to follow our hearts. Pursue our dreams. Find true love. Do what makes us happy. You only live once, so we should wander blissfully and aimlessly through life like a paper airplane doing what we want to do until the hourglass stops.

But is that really what God has in store for us?

We Christians are not promised a life of prosperity or ease.

“If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake …” — John 15:21

“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” — 2 Timothy 3:12

You look at Paul, and see how much he impacted people, how much God used him, and yet he had to go through countless trials and difficulties.

“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” — 2 Corinthians 11

Paul didn’t have an easy life, but he dedicated it to God and He did great and mighty things through him.

Job survived through many sufferings. He lost his kids, his house, his riches, and his health, and he still had faith in God through it all (though he struggled).

Esther risked being put to death for her act of boldness, but she sacrificed her life and comfort to save her people.

I could go on and on. But what I’ve come to learn is that our lives are not meant to be easy. We are called by God to suffer through many trials, dangers, and difficulties.

Our culture glorifies youth. We have the health and strength to accomplish a lot more things than we probably will be able to when we are older. We are made to pour our passion and energy into what we love most.

But our lives are not meant to be easy. God has called us to go to great lengths, to suffer through difficulties, dangers, and trials, to pour our energies into glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever.

And it’s so easy in our world today to waste out lives on trivial pursuits, empty gain, earthly pleasures, and to lose focus on what’s truly important.

The World Life Expectancy chart states that the average person lives up to the age of 77 . How are we going to spend those years? How are we going to live our lives? Are we going to use that time doing the things we want to do, staying tucked away, safely, inside our comfort zone, or are we going to charge across the frontier of conquering some amazing – maybe even crazy – adventures God has in store for us?

Are you willing to surrender your life to Christ, no matter the cost, no matter the difficulties, no matter your shortcomings, or feelings of incompetency, to do hard things, right here, right now, for the glory of God?

The choice is yours.

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Photo courtesy of Daniel Cely and Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author

Rachel Hatcher

is an ordinary 16-year-old with an extraordinary God, who aspires each day to pursue God and to glorify Him. She enjoys reading, hiking, and drinking coffee on rainy days. She strives to be an inspiration to those around her by sharing her love for Jesus and being an encouragement in times of need.


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  • The last couple days, the Question poised at the end of Rachel’s article has been following me everywhere. (Just trust me…. 😛 )

    And my answer is “Yes.” I am willing to give up my life for Christ. No matter the cost, the difficulties, My shortfalls, to do hard things for the Glory of God.

    That’s why we’re rebelutionaries right? To do hard things….

  • Yeah. As John Piper would say do you want to present Jesus your sea shell collection or something more that you did with you life? I say something more no matter what. I choose the Jesus dream life instead of the American dream life. YES!

    • John Piper is awesome! *high fives* He has some very powerful material on the whole subject “Don’t Waste Your Life”.

  • This article does a great job of summarizing the cause of the Rebelution. In fact, it does a great job of summarizing what every single Christian should be doing and that is: using…our time… wisely. Humans, as James once so eloquently put it, “…Are a mist that appears for a little while, and then fades.”

    While it may not seem that way to us, our time is SO SHORT! We think, especially as young people, that we have our whole lives in front of us so we can live life however we want. But who’s to say we will live to the age of 77? Who’s to say that tomorrow we break an arm and die of infection? We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next few minutes. We think we can predict what will happen, but we are still guessing; like blind men shooting arrows in the dark. Mankind has tried to change the future by invention, but it is still unknown.

    With this in mind, we should live every day like it is our last. Ernest Hemingway said in his book, For Whom the Bell Tolls,

    “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”
    Every day we wake up, get out of bed, and go about our lives, God has a plan. He has doors for us to open, opportunities for us to share the gospel, and ways He wants to draw us to Himself. The question is will you let Him? Will you be ‘too busy’ or will you allow God to work in your life?

    I’m preaching to myself as well as anyone else, for the Lord knows the times that I have been ‘too busy.’ It’s something that every Christian should work on, a little at a time. And I will be working as hard as I can, to be what God’s wants me to be, in a busy world.

    –Long post I know, but hopefully it compensates for not posting here for a while. 🙂

    • Wow, Caleb. This is great! And so true: we really *don’t* know how long out lives are, so we should dedicate each and every moment to the Lord, doing everything for His glory (1 Cor 10:31)

  • WOW!!!!!!!! that was a great article Rachel!! First your writing was amazing! that’s the first article I’ve ever read that is so well written and that draws your readers in well done Rachel it’s awesome!! OK and second that’s so true we need to live our lives to the fullest and live every moment to the glory of God reaching everyone to Christ. and it is our chose we can either chose to live life to the fullest live every day to God’s glory and do hard things in his name, and do impossible feats through his strength or we can just sit back like my history teacher says “sit on the couch with a coke just chill-in” for our whole lives. But we need to do hard things so that God might grow us and mature us into the person he wants us to be. and we need to live everyday unto him and for his glory!! Great article Rachel!!
    God Bless!

  • Well done, Rachel! I whole-heartily agree with you… because you whole-heartily agree with the Bible and the God of the Bible =v)

  • I’m sorry this is very random…… I was just looking at the picture on the top, and what is that’s that black stuff on the hand? like… a black cobweb?

  • When your lost or can’t decide what to do next in your life ask yourself this, (WWJD) What Would Jesus Do.

    Great subject Rachel. 🙂

  • Wow, thanks Rachel! All of that is so true. As my youth leader would say, do you want to have a foundation of stone (God) or of sand (other)? And if you want to have the stone (God), do you want your house (life) be built of marshmallows and toothpicks, or stone and concrete? Because when God tests us, there isn’t going to be any strength in the marshmallows and toothpicks, but the stone and concrete are going to withstand, no matter what. We just have to remember that if we are going to follow Jesus that it’s not our decision of what we do with our life, it’s God’s.

    God bless you all…

  • Wow , pretty profound and very well written. Being a Christian and living for God will not always be a piece of cake, as we all know, but it will be the most exciting and fullfiling thing that we do. Thanks Rachel. 🙂

  • Wow! This is reminding me of so many things I’m doing right now in my life that one day won’t matter. A lot of the time I’m just wasting time. I need to be doing something profitable! And profitable for God most importantly! I need to stop wasting my life. And do something with my life while I can! Life as a Christian isn’t easy. But it is so worth it! I can’t imagine trying to go through life without Someone to lean on.

  • The question:

    Are you willing to surrender your life to Christ, no matter the cost, no matter the difficulties, no matter your shortcomings, or feelings of incompetency, to do hard things, right here, right now, for the glory of God?

    It’s important to answer this question before God asks us to do something. I sincerely believe that if we do, God will give us greater, harder, and more rewarding opportunities to do for His glory.

    About a month ago, I committed to do whatever God wanted me to do, no matter what it is. I said, “Whatever you want me to do, the answer is ‘yes’.”

    Since then, He has given me bigger and harder challenges, tasks, and trials to go through. And the rewards are extraordinary!

    I feel that that’s the point of all of this: many of us want the reward if excitement and fulfillment of Doing Hard Things, but are not willing to say “Okay, God, I’m all in. What now?”

    God bless!
    – Trent

  • Thank you for that. I really struggle with not putting all of me out to God. This really encourages me to do more.

By Rachel Hatcher
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →