Life . . . is a vapor.

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:14  NASB

OLD ManI went into a local McDonalds today and saw this man “relaxing” at breakfast. I was struck by many things and couldn’t help taking a picture. Hopefully I can redeem my actions but than again he was in a public space.

Ever since about age 50 I  have been keenly aware of how fast time is marching on. I now find myself looking  at older people and trying to place myself in their age frames and wonder what I will be like at that age. What will my health be? What will I look like? What will my body to do me as far as allowing me to have reasonable physical function and activity. Already age has presented challenges that I seem to have little control over.

As I observed this gentleman today while waiting for a coffee, I checked to make sure he was breathing and he was.

I was impressed with his commitment to technology. Okay it’s not a “have to have” trendy Apple Mac Book (I don’t have one by the way)  but he was online no doubt and he had headphones in his ears. He was set up right down to the mouse pad.  He made me smile but this picture was also a nagging reminder that life is vapor.

I could see myself sitting somewhere, someday, trying to keep up and stay connected . . . hopefully not asleep, but age and other factors make napping more and more of an easy transition some days. You and I have no ability to stop the aging process. You can do some things to try to look younger but it doesn’t change your health or the process. So what can I do with my vapor of a life. I am now 55 and am very thankful for the opportunities I have experienced and for the love I feel daily. I am also thankful for the opportunities in ministry. Over 30 years in full-time ministry with lots of amazing opportunities for influencing others, learning, growing and developing as a leader.

As I think forward, especially with the drastic life changes that have taken place I need to be aware more then ever of my days on this earth. So how do I do that? What can I do to stay self-aware? Here are some things I have come up with:

  1. Stay close to God.
  2. Stay thankful.  Practice this everyday naming things that I am “greatful” for.
  3. Stay aware of others and never quit serving.
  4. Be loving
  5. Be mindful of those with less or the hurting and find ways to help them.
  6. Be willing to change.
  7. Be willing to learn new things.
  8. Be connected with younger people as well as people your own age.
  9. Be honest and share your failures and  mistakes so that others can learn.
  10. Be willing to resolve all conflicts.
  11. Be active.
  12. Be closer to God.

There is nothing profound here and these may not be complete but for now I will try to live out each day with a full heart.

Time is filled with swift transition—
Naught of earth unmoved can stand—
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken,
Still more closely to Him cling.

When your journey is completed,
If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in glory,
Your enraptured soul will view.

Hold to God’s unchanging hand!
Hold to God’s unchanging hand!
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

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2 thoughts on “Life . . . is a vapor.

  1. The first and last are profound to me: if I accomplish those the ten will be easy.
    Thanks, I think that’s me in the chair,
    Bob

    Like

  2. I have seen that fellow setting at that McDonalds many a time while eating lunch. Thanks for reminding us that while life is but a vapor we can be assured by the knowledge that God is eternal and wants to simply have a relationship with us

    Like

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