One of the interesting principles in Economics is the law of diminishing marginal utility. In simple words, it can be understood as the law of diminishing gratitude, that is, taking things that we have in plenty or in common for granted. Idiomatically, it is referred to as the 10th apple effect. If one is hungry and in need, the appreciation of the 20 apples provided to satisfy your hunger has very high value.

However, as and when you begin to eat them one by one, the value of the apple slowly diminishes and by the time you come to the 10th apple – utility and value has diminished significantly. Similarly, now with this ‘lock down’ – many things that we took for granted have become precious and dear.

The formal handshake, work, travel, the hugs and kisses, a space to walk, run, shop and for us Christians – fellowship at church, meetings and celebrations. It’s almost like God has pressed the reset button for us – to appreciate all those things we had begun to take for granted.

Perhaps for many, this time has provided us space to ponder on where we are placed with God, family, church and even within ourselves. Our older folks and those who are vulnerable are more on our mind than perhaps ever before. People are switching to online church services and listening to Christian thoughts and mediation and more. This suggests that we now have enough time to ponder and think about all those things that have become the 10th apple in our lives.

Paul while writing to the Ephesian church says ‘redeem the time, for the days are evil ’ (Ephesians 5:16). Here the word ‘time ’ in Greek refers to ‘Kyros’, a time understood in God’s dimension and not ‘Chronos’ which is more to do with human understanding of time. May God help us to redeem the time and make the prayer real – ‘may your kingdom come … on earth as it is heaven’.

Dr Prasad D R J Phillips currently serves OCPRL as the Distance Learning Coordinator and Tutor with research interests in World Christianity, Missiology and Practical Theology.

Photo by Anastasiya Romanova on Unsplash

For Other Articles by Dr Prasad D R J Phillips
Wilderness Experience with God

Dr Prasad Philips is the Deputy Executive Director, OCRPL