“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14
Life is so fragile and brief.
As we get older it seems that things just seem to speed up like a run away train on a track that isn’t finished yet. We keep plodding along thinking that the line is still hundreds of miles away, yet it’s only a couple of miles down along the bend.
Sometimes life isn’t what we thought it would be…yet we had clung to the notion that it would be awesomely amazing when we grew up…only to discover that life is what you make of it, it takes a lot of work and hard decisions. Life can be pleasantly insulated by friends, family, children – and this makes the journey, because that’s what life truly is, a journey – so much more enjoyable and treasured.
Here’s what I know about this life so far…I’ve been pondering this for some time now…and i know that there are far more wiser people out there than me, but let me try to articulate what I know about life so far, perhaps this will resonate or at least make sense to you.
3 Vitals About This Life…
1. We don’t get to choose how many days of life we have…
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12
This life IS temporal, and we don’t live forever in this body. Does the spirit live forever, that’s what we have been told and what I believe, but this shell will one day give out and stop working…and so will yours. Sounds kinda depressing doesn’t it? I know…but in the grand scheme of things, there is a far better – longer lasting existence waiting for us. A life where there will no longer be this barrier between us and the Almighty. A place where we will no longer suffer from disease and the aches and pains of life. I can’t even begin to imagine that yet, but we must, at some point, come to terms with the limited nature of this life. We don’t get to choose the length of our lives. God does give and take away, He is sovereign over our very breath, and I have to believe without a shadow of a doubt that we deeply matter to Him.
2. This life is like a mist, really it’s not that long – make the most of it.
As James puts it, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) Have you ever seen that fog in the early morning? It’s so mysterious and wispy, just hanging there. It’s dangerous to drive into, but you know that in a little while, as soon as the Sun starts to shine on it, that fog will dissipate and vanish. It’s a great analogy of life isn’t it? This vital understanding of how brief our life really is puts it into perspective. Don’t waste your life. Make memories. Don’t get so caught up in things that don’t really matter much – even (or especially) work can become one of those things. When it is all said and done, will you be known for getting those reports in on time? Will you really want to be remembered for the labored hours you spent in the office, even during family vacations and nights when you should have been home with your kids? NO! I think a lot of people will be living with regret in the late stages of life. Success in business doesn’t always equate to making the most out of your life and what really, truly matters. Are you really living life right now, or are you just plodding? It’s like that fog in the early morning…far too soon it will dissipate and vanish. Don’t take it for granted, don’t waste it on things that don’t really matter. Invest in the right kinds of things and in people who care and love you.
3. Some people with less of a life span live a whole lot more than some with a much longer life span…what you make of it matters…
This directly correlates with the last vital point…I met some who are simply coasting through life. They have no real purpose, they aren’t happy with anything, they are miserable people to be around. These people (not to sound condescending, but rather a warning here) are just hoping the next life will be better, but they really aren’t living the one they have been given right here and now. It’s such a waste…have you live this at some point in your life? Do you know what I mean? Some people have been given such a short life due to illness, disease or accident, and they lived it to the fullest. They were full of vigor and passion and it just seem to pour out of them – it was contagious. I hope we live like that with whatever time we have in this body. I hope we can laugh and love and cry and experience life in all of its glory. I never want to be one who merely looks forward to heaven, yet I miss out on, or waste this gift of life I have been given right here and now.
Some of us bury ourselves in elements of life and distractions of life…and then we look up from our cell phones and our social media accounts and miss the beauty of nature all around us. Don’t miss it. Don’t miss the glory of God, which is evident all around us. Soak it in, notice it, embrace it, spend some of your “mist” time just breathing it in. Life isn’t life unless you’re actually an active participator in it.
I’ve had some peers and friends of mine pass way before their time. Their life seemed like a brief mist…and sadly gone too soon. I’ve even performed a couple of their funerals as the Pastor…it isn’t easy, it breaks the heart and it later causes me to think more deeply as to what I am doing with my life – this mist that I am. Have you been there? Can you relate? What I do know is that our journeys have a destination that extends beyond the veil of life and death…and the next life begins with the glory embrace of Christ. And although I long for that day, I don’t want to
mist miss this moment right here and now, where everything and everyone that is important and precious becomes crystal clear. When that happens to you…what and who do you see?
Something more to ponder today.
To God be the glory!