12/29/10

The Circle of Life in One Hour


Goals. Resolutions. Fresh Starts. Success.

These are all the topics covered in my past New Year's posts. Every year, in late December, I take time to think ahead and design a plan for the next year.

But this year the Lord burdened me with the shortness of the hour. Oh, not the "hour" of earth or our time left before the Lord returns, but rather the "hour" of my own life.

When my grandmother died on December 15th, my sister in Florida needed some photos right away for a memorial service. I had to get them out in an hour's time. I can't tell you the emotions I went through that day as I shuffled through five large boxes of photos (not yet into scrapbooks). In trying to find photos of Grandma Parks, I also saw photos of my Dad who died a few years ago, photos of my children and grandchildren, and photos of myself ~ infancy through today.

It was as if I traveled the entire "circle of life" in one hour! I sensed the shortness of one's life. Of my life. And each new stage I saw in the box of photos brought tears. I couldn't stop crying.

The Bible says our lives are short. David summarized his thoughts about the brevity of life in a prayer: "Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, the number of my days is small like the size of a hand. And my age is as nothing before You. Certainly, every man at his best state is but vapor" (Psalm 39:4-6).

In another word picture, our lives are like a flower that grows and then quickly withers and fades away (Job 14:2; Psalm 103:15).

Psalm 90:12 reminds us to "number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Our days are numbered. Limited. Life races by and before we know it, we are the ones that people gather to talk about at a memorial service! So the psalmist teaches us to live wisely with all the time that we have! I am glad for the wisdom that has come to see life from a more godly perspective, to make better decisions and handle struggles biblically. There is something to be said for experience, especially experience learned in the presence of the Lord.

Realizing life is short has also helped me make better choices in my relationships and priorities, understanding that people have more value than things.

I've also come to understand the importance of vision and making goals in light of eternity ~ what really counts.

When I was younger, time seemed to stand still. I couldn't wait for high school graduation and college. I couldn't wait to be married and have children. Now ~ though I can't wait to see Jesus ~ I am looking for the brakes to stop my mad rush into old age.

As I approach this New Year's Day, I am not yet at the midnight hour of my life, but I know ~ perhaps as never before ~ that my life is but a whisper. Eternal values take on new meaning. And the bonus message is this: Jesus is coming soon; the day is "at hand" (Romans 13:12).

1 comment:

Marja said...

Your post almost made me cry Dawn, what beautiful words and thoughts about our lives. You are so right... what is all this in light of eternity?? Thank you my friend for your words of wisdom.
Be blessed, encouraged and inspired in 2011!!