Life is but a Vapor
-- At a very early age, I was blessed to discover the wonderful
writings of King Solomon, the humble ruler who unselfishly asked
God for wisdom, instead of the typical list of wants compiled
by most kings.
I am not sure if he won my affection by his great insight with
the teaching of the two disputing mothers and the baby, or when
after he experienced all the pleasures life had to offer, he then
had the conviction to tell the world, “None of it matters.”
God must have had something up His sleeve, because as a youngster,
He made sure many nuggets of truth were planted deep within my
very impressionable heart. It produced a kind of “Princess
and the Pea” fairy tale effect. It caused me not be able
to rest too comfortably on the “mattress of complacency.”
The Holy Spirit always made sure that soft whispers of wisdom
would consistently move in and out of my life for many years.
I recall one particular verse that I could never seem to forget.
It was one of those sayings that you weighed everything against.
It’s found in the book of Ecclesiastes. It says,
It is better to spend more time at funerals than at festivals.
For you are going to die and you should think about it while
there is still time (Ecclesiastes 7:2).
You must be thinking as I did, Goodness gracious, what a
depressing statement! A real bubble buster! Actually, for
me it was quite the contrary. That rather gloomy statement would
cause me to continually reprioritize my life.
The Holy Spirit made sure that particular Scripture was stored
in a “refer to often” file within my mind. He was
faithful to lead me to that mental index whenever I developed
the self-centered notion that somehow my life was my own and I
could live it anyway I pleased.
As James often reminds us,
For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for
a little time, and then vanishes away (James 4:14).
This verse is certainly not one of those “claim it”
verses we so readily display on our fridges with a cute little
magnet. But then again, why don’t we? Are we so in love
with our lives or so deeply immersed in our pleasures that we
cannot bare to be reminded that one day it will all disappear
like a passing mist?
On the front of my computer at work, I keep a small, neon colored
“post it” with the following words displayed directly
at eye level: “Soon this life as we know it shall pass …
only what’s done for Jesus will last.”
So what is our duty? The wisest king that ever lived summed it
up in one sentence.
Fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
So, in closing, I leave you with a K.I.S.S. – “Keep
It Simple Saints.” And always remember, “It’s
only a minute, but eternity’s in it.” Make your vapor
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