“Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away…”
In the midst of his struggles, Job came to the realization that life is short. He compares life to a wild flower that blooms one day and seems to be gone the next. While it is important to realize the brevity of life, how we interpret that truth, will radically affect our viewpoint on life.
Some, like Job seem to develop a fatalistic approach to living. They look around, see the rich and poor, young and old, good and bad, all experience suffering, and all die. They soon become disillusioned, and begin to wonder what the point of life really is. Sadly, this usually leads to destructive behavior. It is not uncommon for a fatalist to become isolated from others, or develop a dependency on substances like alcohol or prescription medication. Certainly, the biblical teaching of the brevity of life is not designed to promote such thinking or behavior.
Another response to the shortness of life, is the attitude expressed by the backslidden believers in Isaiah’s day. They declared, he should “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” (Isaiah 22:13b). Sadly, it seems this attitude is almost epidemic today. One of the most popular hashtags (short messages on microblogging and social networking services) on social media sites is YOLO, meaning “you only live once.” Most pictures connected with this are of people doing particularly foolish things. It’s as if they are saying “you only live once, so live wild and free.” A viewpoint on life giving no regard to eternity, is anything but intelligent. The Bible declares a person is given one opportunity to live and then we will face judgment for this life (Hebrews 9:27). Rather than living recklessly against the ways of God, why not live recklessly for Him.
The proper response to understanding the shortness of this life, is to live for eternal things. As far as I know, there are only three things which will outlast this life: God, His Word, and the souls of men and women. We should get to know God through the pages of the Bible, seek to put into practice the things that matter to Him, and seek to express His love to others in every way possible. When the journey of life reaches the finish line, I want to be able to look back and see that I have left a mark upon the world for the kingdom of heaven, and to look forward to treasures that have been stored up by living for the things that matter to God.
Time is running out, it cannot be stopped. How will you choose to use it today?