A Quickly Disappearing Mist

Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’–yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’  As it is, you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is evil.  So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.  (James 4:13-17, ESV, emphasis mine)

I could die before I finish writing this post.  You could die before you finish reading it.  I realize it’s considered bad form to say stuff like that but it’s true.

I read today about 8 more troops in the war who died.  That makes this month the deadliest month for our soldiers since the war began.

Those were people with families and friends that they loved and that loved them back.  They had hopes and dreams, and maybe some plans for life after they finished their service to our country.  Now they are gone, and all those plans and dreams of theirs are gone too.

You would imagine that a soldier understands that death is always a very real possibility for them.  But what about the rest of us?  Is it any less real for the banker, the teacher, or the homemaker?

42-16951903Why do we live as if we will never die?

Think about it:  only someone who thinks they are immortal would spend 4 to 7 hours a day watching TV and yet that is how much the average–very mortal–American spends watching TV every single day.

Only someone who thinks they will live forever would waste years being angry and bitter at someone for some offense however legitimate the offense might be.  Why waste your life in bitterness and anger?

Only people who think they will never die would ignore the good things that are right in front of them to do because they think there will always be another chance to do them tomorrow.

The Apostle James called that “arrogance.”

When God decides that our time is up then our time is up.  There will come a moment for each and every one of us when our bodies will cease to function and we will depart from this existence and into eternity.  Are we ready for that?  Are you ready for that?

What will we be found doing when we die?

The great evangelist D.L. Moody died on the platform while preaching a sermon.  Now that’s the way I would like to go.  I want to be about the work Christ sent me here to do all the way to the very last second of my existence on the earth.

I do NOT want to die while watching some rerun on TV, or rehearsing some offense someone committed against me years ago, or ignoring someone who is in need.

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I realize that there is a massive amount of need in this fallen world and that there is only so much we can do.  But can we honestly say that we really do all that much?

I also realize that we all need times of rest to refresh our bodies and our spirits and that God even created a whole day of rest out of each week just for that purpose.  But come on…we worship our leisure time in this country don’t we?  What if we took a few hours out of each week that we spend watching TV and served someone in need?  Who knows, that might even make us feel more energetic.

As James says, we are nothing more than a mist that is here one moment and then gone the next and that’s why if we know there is some good that we should be doing and we are not doing it, we are in sin.

Time is too short to ignore the good work we should be doing!

Two days ago, a man I know said that there was nothing good going on in his life.  I felt my heart leap thinking that there was a chance right in front of me to share the love of Jesus Christ with him.

I didn’t do it.  I thought that I was too busy with some work-related task I had in front of me.

I sinned because I saw the good I needed to do, and did not do it.  God only knows if I will have a chance like that again.

What good have you been neglecting?

Don’t delay.  You may not be here to get it done tomorrow.

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3 thoughts on “A Quickly Disappearing Mist

  1. Hey Joe, this is GOOD STUFF! I want to encourage you with an opportunity to redeem your missed opportunity. This Saturday you and your family can come to Bright Futures with our family and many others from NewBranch Community Church and serve others, poor into them, share the gospel with them, be the church to them. What do you say? Come on…don’t neglect!!!! I love what you say – “Time is too short to ignore the good work we should be doing.” As leaders we should be setting the example in what we say AND do. Come on brother, let’s together “not ignore the good work we should be doing”. I’m with you in this!

    • Chris: Well despite the fact that you have made it impossible for me to say “no” without sounding like a total jerk and hypocrite 😉 I am afraid that is what I must do this time. Is this a regular thing you do? If so, when is it scheduled so that I can make sure to get in on it next time if I live and God wills?

  2. We go every other Saturday. The only exception will be the 16th due to the HCA walk through. There may still be some folks from our BASE Group going on the 16th though. I hope you’ll pick a Saturday(s) and come with us…if you haven’t died. 🙂

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