The Brevity of Life

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The-Brevity-of-Life-500x500Do you ever find yourself thinking more about tomorrow and hoping that it will be better than today?  Jesus made a statement to his disciples about that in the Sermon on the Mount and it may surprise you, ” . . . do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. — Matthew 6:34

Philip Yancey in his book, Reaching for the Invisible God, tells of Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian author, who in one of his short stories called, “Three Questions,” reminded us of the truth of these words by Jesus. He wrote, “There is only one time that is important—and that is now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.” Now why is this true? Because, as Tolstoy said, “we have control over no other time. You see, the past is unchangeable. There is absolutely nothing we can do to change anything that has happened in the past. The only thing we can do about the past is to learn from it. The future is unpredictable. We have no guarantees about tomorrow, or if we’ll even have a tomorrow.”

Thousands of people will die in the world today—at least half of them unexpectedly and without warning. The book of James also speaks to this brevity of life: “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 4:15). David wrote in Psalm 103:15-16, “As for man his days are like grass; as a flower of the field so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” David wrote again in Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Job agrees, “Since his (Man) days are determined, the number of his months is with You (God); and his limits you have set so that he cannot pass” (Job. 14:5).

You see, my friends, we can only live the life directly before us—and that’s right now. How then shall we live? This thought I believe is captured by a poem written by Allen Wilson, “The Brevity of Life,” I think you’ll get the message:

We see the sunrise, and we say thanks be to God. We see the sunset, and still, it is thanks be unto God. Yet, so many kiss the morning, and see not the night. Thus the commandment; love always with all your might.

Oh but to hold a simple treasure, only as simple as a breath. Oh, but to see the splendor of God in another day, defeating the claim of death.

However, and in too much sadness when we sing our last song. We realize the brevity of life, and how we lack the chance to say to the ones we love, “So long.”

Therefore, and alas spill these words in a wholesome and desperate plea. Love…oh God, LOVE each other, each moment, for tomorrow we may never see.

Be thankful in all things, for we are blessed by God to see another day. — Allen Wilson © 2/25/2010

So enjoy your day to the full, my friends. Live it for God completely because we do not know what will happen tomorrow.

“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years. Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away . . . So teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.” — Psalm 90:10, 12.

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