Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 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. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall have and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:13-17, NASV

Ah, the brevity of life! The brevity of life is a “timeless” topic! The author of the above scripture died centuries ago. He inspired many to write about the obvious! Life spans did not begin being brief in the last few generations—they always have been brief!

The deceit: “The brevity of life is just a matter of perspective.” At 15, life is agonizingly slow. At 25, life is timeless. At 40, you need to slow down long enough to at least be aware that life is whizzing by. Then the births of grandchildren make you admit you are “that” old. Then opportunities diminish. Then you look at an old man in the mirror shaving—and it is you! Then energy fails as you cannot do what you used to do. A secret: never tell a 95-year-old (or older) that life is not brief! (Unless you enjoy being humiliated by laughter!)

The truth: “Time passes fast regardless of age or arrogance.” No matter your age, you never have time to waste. Regretting the past use of time is a common plight of living.

Consider some things to think about. Wisdom can result from accurate perspective, too!

  1. Take nothing for granted—never assume that what you did today you can do tomorrow.
  2. There is no “do over” button to be pushed in your 60s for what you did in your 30s.
  3. In your 20s, do not think you will have the same body and energy level in your 70s.
  4. Treat those you regard as old with respect; eventually someone will see you as old—without your permission. (You will get accustomed to being seen as being old.)
  5. It may be true that you are only as old as you feel, but your body has a nasty habit of telling the truth. Have you counted your doctor visits lately?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 6 September 2009

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