But a mist

Psa. 39:4-6, “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!  Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah. Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing, they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!”  The worst mistake anyone can make is to think that they have more time.  When we allow that thought to dominate, we act carelessly, assuming we have enough time to correct our mistakes.  People have often asked me why the church is made up of predominantly older people, generally speaking.  I am pretty convinced the reason for that is that as we grow older, we become more aware of our mortality and thus seek answers.

That certainly is not the only reason, however.  Older, more mature people have a greater understanding of the complexities of life and how incredulous evolution is.  Their wisdom draws them to the indubitable truth that God is the creator and sustainer of all things.  So they embrace the reality of God, put on Christ in baptism, and accept the responsibility and accountability placed on their new life as Christians.  Aside from other reasons, one of the primary ones remains the awareness that life is not “forever” and that time does not stand still and is definitely not slow.   By contrast, many younger people think they have an abundance of time left and so act in ways contrary to God’s commands.  They are convinced that sometime in the future, they will be able to step into their Christianity, but for now, they can do as they please.

Should we despair and wait for our death every moment of our lives, too scared to live for fear of dying?  Of course not.  God wants us to share in the beauty of this life, and He wants us to enjoy the adventures that await us in it, but we need to be mindful of the fleeting nature of life.  Have fun, make plans for the future, and live as if they will happen, but be cognizant that life is a gift and tomorrow is not promised.  Jam. 4:13-14, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

Tomorrow is a mystery, and living like it is promised can lead to an eternity of despair.  One hundred twenty people die each minute, which may not seem like that much, but that equates to 7425 each hour and approximately 65 million per year.  Nothing will prevent death from finding us one day, and if we are one of the 7425, today will be our last.  Now, that is not meant to be a gloomy, all-is-lost statement, but it is intended to make you aware of your frailty as a mortal human being.   2 Sam. 14:14, “We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again…”.  Have you ever dropped water on the ground outside your house, especially sand?  You cannot retrieve it, and all you see is the witness of how it has influenced the sand for a short while, but before long, it dries, and no more record of it exists.  Your influence on earth is likely going to be like that.  Your loved ones will remember you, and their loved ones may do the same, but eventually, your influence on this world will disappear like the water on the sand.  Your time and your influence are limited.

But, if you are aware of your fleeting nature, if you are aware that your time on this earth could end at any moment, you can prepare for a future in heaven.  Why risk the peace and beauty that heaven has to offer for a lifestyle that promises nothing but fleeting pleasure followed by an eternity of anguish?  Our selfish natures need to put away the things of the world and instead put on things of the spirit.  Live, love, laugh, embrace the adventure, live like there is no tomorrow, and enjoy the moment, but do so in Christ.  Do that, and you will secure for yourself a future that is beautiful beyond your wildest imagination.  1 Cor. 2:9, “…What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him“.  Amen.

Comments are closed.