Thursday, September 20, 2012

Live purposefully. Life is short.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. 
For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 
~James 4:14

People often acknowledge that life is short. I think most people throw this acknowledgement around sort of flippantly, assuming they'll have 80 or 90 years before it's all said and done. Some of them will--and I suspect even for those, when they look back at their lives, they'll wonder where all the time went. 

But many won't have that long.

I received a vivid reminder of this truth this week when my mom called me with horribly tragic news. My 31 year-old cousin was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday morning from what appears to have been a diabetic incident. I was very much saddened, and completely shocked.

Luis and I weren't very close. We did have some nice times together, but the reality was there were many years, miles, and world-view differences that separated us and we just didn't get to spend much time together. 

The last conversation I had with him was over email after Ben and I got engaged. He wrote to congratulate me, and we went back and forth several times. We talked about our different plans for the future--I was thrilled about beginning life with Ben; he was in culinary school, hoping to eventually start a nice restaurant and marry a nice girl some day.

Sadly, his time was up before his plans came to pass.

Based on what I know about him and the outpouring of friends and family I've seen on his Facebook page the past couple of days, Luis was a blessing to many in his short life and I know he will be sorely missed by a lot of folks.

His untimely death has certainly been a reminder to me of the brevity of life. 

Like most young people, I go about my days with the assumption that I have a lot of them left--far more ahead of me than I have behind me. As I rock my babies, I occasionally even daydream about one day rocking their babies

And, Lord willing, I may live to see my children's children--and possibly even their children (and their children!). If I do, I will certainly count myself a blessed woman. 

But the reality is that I may not live that long. I could die in 10 years, or I could die tomorrow. I'm sure when Luis woke up on his last day, he didn't imagine it was--and yet that very day, he took his last breath. 

It will probably be that way for most of us. One day we will wake up and, though we're not expecting it, before the day is over, we'll be gone. We don't want to live in constant fear of death, but we can't ignore its reality either. And we ought to live like people who know we're going to die.

For me? The death of my cousin at the all-too-young age of 31 has been a stark reminder to live purposefully--to pour myself all the more into serving Christ with all I am, to be the wife my amazing husband deserves, to cherish my babes as the precious gifts they are, to not waste time on things that really don't matter; to plan for the future, while living every day like it could be my last.


  1. Sorry to hear about your cousin. Your finally will be in my prayers

  2. Beautiful reminder Mary Jo. Love you!