Maybe it was reflecting back on family nights last week. Or possibly it was attending my nephew’s wedding this past Saturday. But for whatever reason, I have been thinking a lot about the brevity of life.
It seems only a short time ago that CJ and I were sitting on the floor playing Memory Game with our 3 girlies. It feels as if it was just yesterday when I caught Marcus (my nephew) hoisting up his co-conspirator cousin (my daughter Janelle) to fetch the forbidden candy on the top shelf of the cabinet.
Yet each of my daughters and now Marcus are married. As one author fittingly stated: It’s only a snap of the finger from diapers to tuxedos and wedding gowns.
In Holy Scripture we find David and Job comparing the span of our lives to a breath (Ps. 144:4; Job 7:7). A breath takes only a second or two! At least Moses gave us a little more time when he likened the length of our days to grass that lasts from morning to evening (Ps. 90:5,6). Even still—a half day is not very long!
Now if our lifespan is comparable to about 12 hours that means the seasons of our lives are only minutes long. Think about that. Whether you are a teenager, a single adult, a new bride, a mom with preschool children, an empty nester, or whatever your season—you have only a few minutes left before this season ends.
The problem is that sometimes we get so bogged down with daily life that we forget life is passing quickly. In fact many of us function as if our present season is going to last forever.
John Calvin has a word for us in this regard. He said:
“Whence proceeds the great stupidity of men, who, bound fast to the present state of existence, proceed in the affairs of life as if they were to live two thousand years…. In short, men are so dull as to think that thirty years, or even a smaller number, are, as it were, an eternity; nor are they impressed with the brevity of their life so long as this world keeps possession of their thoughts…. How speedily our life vanishes away. The imagination that we shall have long life, resembles a profound sleep in which we are all benumbed.”
John Calvin, Heart Aflame, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1999), 219.
Let’s “wake up” to the fact that we have only a short time left in our present season. More importantly, let’s live as if we have just a few minutes remaining.