Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life is a vapor

Steam coming off hot pool in Yellowstone park wyoming

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." ~James 4:14

Sitting around a fire with our family the other night, the question was posed: What would you do differently if you knew you only had two years left to live?

I listed some things I'd change and someone suggested that I ought to live my life the same way I'd live it if I knew when I would die. I've heard this before (who hasn't?), but for some reason, it really hit me this time.

And then again during Sunday's sermon, the same truth was discussed: You should live your life as one who is not promised another year, or even another day--because you're not. 

I'm only 21. I go through my days assuming that I've got at least another 50-60 years left before my soul says farewell to my body. I probably have another 16-18 years to train Katie while she still lives with me at home, and even longer with my little man.

But, bad things happen to families because of the fall. Children bury their parents before they graduate high school. Sometimes, parents bury their children. And when tragedy strikes, it doesn't really matter what the chances were that it wouldn't happen.

While I know I'll never be perfect this side of eternity, I want to strive to live a life without regrets. I don't want to waste time on things that don't matter. I want to really live every day like it could be my very last.  

 I've been thinking about this a lot--not in a morbid way. I don't want to live worrying about when I'm going to die. But, I want to live purposefully and use my days in a way I wouldn't regret even if I did only have two years left. But, really, even if I have another 80 years left--why waste any of it?

All of this talk and thought is vanity if it doesn't effect any change. How will it look for me? I'm not exactly sure.

I've been working on a revamped time budget/schedule for myself with these kind of questions in mind:
::What would I teach my children if I knew I only had a year left with them?
::What kind of effort would I pour into my marriage if I knew when death would part us?  
::How much time would I spend on facebook? (*gulp*)
::What necessary tasks would I streamline?
::What would I blog about?
::How much more effort would I spend studying Scripture and praying if I knew my face-to-face meeting with the Lord was imminent?
 ::What things would I forget about because they don't really matter that much?

By God's grace, I'm renewed in my determination to live my days out purposefully for His glory. You only get one chance at life. And then, like a vapor, you'll be gone. 

What about your life would you change if you knew you would stand before God before the end of 2012?


  1. This is a great post! I don't have my answers yet but you really gave me something to think about! The other day was my birthday and I often like to think of how my next year can be more meaningful.

  2. I've thought about this before, but it's good to be reminded of what is really important. How are we glorifying God each day? What comes to mind? How are we raising our children, how are we treating our spouse, are we telling others about Christ? Are we loving our enemies, are we forgiving one another or are we holding on to grudges. Thank you Mary Jo for reminding us that we aren't guaranteed another day and the decisions we make in this life can have a huge impact in the advancement of the Kingdom of God. How can we do this? By raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, by being obedient to the Great Commission, forgiving one another, loving one another, and by wiling to lay down our lives as Christ did for us. Love you!

  3. I've been meaning to leave a comment for you on this post but haven't gotten to it till now. I'm subscribed to your newsletter so I read this soon after you posted it. I'm encouraged to read this and I'm continually challenging myself to living a life that is only for that moment. I've been thinking about this so much more lately as recently my husband was rushed to the ER with an unknown(still) allergic reaction. We found out shortly after getting there that if we would have been 40 minutes later he could/would have been dead. That really put into perspective for me how much our life is a vapor and we need to live every moment as if it's the last. Every day as if there will be no morrow. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think we need this reminder much more often! Blessings to you!

  4. These are some amazing thoughts! I happen to think along the same lines because of being chronically ill, but as you said, not in a morbid way, but other take it that way sometimes. Life is not about levity and surreal pleasures, but of living right and helping others along their paths also. I loved this post.

  5. I just found your site today. This post is so important to homemakers that are living to glorify the Lord. I still have 5 daughters at home...and I am frequently reminding them that we need to spend each moment of our day for God's Glory. Thanks for posting these thoughts