A few weeks ago I was so struck by a quote in a recent episode of Sherlock that it has been rattling around in my mind ever since.
I need to avoid spoilers, so it will have to suffice to say that a major character gave up her life for Sherlock, literally jumping in front of a bullet that was meant for him. She died. He lived. The following episode was all about how Sherlock and other characters were dealing with the loss.
Sherlock is a ‘high-functioning sociopath’ who doesn’t readily grasp human emotion or attachment, and so comprehending what would cause a person to make an act of sacrifice like this is certainly well outside of his emotional wheelhouse. The sacrifice on his behalf completely throws him off. He muddles through the entire episode a total wreck, processing an act of love that he can’t fathom.
It’s not until the end of the episode that he finally comes to terms with what the sacrifice means for him going forward. He tells John Watson,
“In saving my life she conferred a value on it. It is a currency I do not know how to spend.”
I don’t know if anyone else was struck by the beauty of that line, but I was. I paused the show. Backed it up ten seconds. Watched it again. Backed it up. Watched it again. Got off the sofa, grabbed my journal, backed it up again, and this time wrote the line down.
And I thought about the cross.
When Jesus died on the cross, he conferred a value on my life. On yours. You and I are worth something to God. Not just something… Everything. And the cross is our proof. Our price tag. We are worth the life of his son. That is how much he values his children.
You are valuable. You are costly, and God was willing to spend everything to pay that cost and redeem your life.
I know this is elementary Gospel, but I don’t ever want to forget the beauty of how much God loves and values us, and this was one more beautiful reminder I found in an unexpected place.
There’s another half to Sherlock’s quote, though. “It is a currency I don’t know how to spend.” Now that God has conferred a value on your life, you do have to make a choice how you will spend it. On yourself? On others? On ministry? On what comes easy? On what costs a lot?
I’ve been asking myself if I am spending this life God has given me in the right way, but eventually I realized that I am looking at this wrong. Sherlock is right. I don’t know how to spend it. And so I shouldn’t. On my own, even with the best of intentions, even with the Holy Spirit in my life, if it remains mine to spend, I will waste it on things that don’t matter.
As Christians we put so much time and energy into questioning the value of spending our lives on this or that or the other, putting all the emphasis on what we are spending our lives ON, when our real mistake is thinking we are the ones to spend our lives in the first place.
And so I want to make a suggestion. Don’t spend it. Don’t spend your life. Let God spend it. I’m more and more convinced that this is the surest way into the life of surrender.