Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Life Is but a Vapor

At a very early age, I was blessed to discover the wonderful writings of King Solomon, the humble ruler who unselfishly asked God for wisdom, instead of the typical list of wants compiled by most kings.

I am not sure if he won my affection by his great insight with the teaching of the two disputing mothers and the baby, or when after he experienced all the pleasures life had to offer, he then had the conviction to tell the world, “None of it matters.”

God must have had something up His sleeve, because as a youngster, He made sure many nuggets of truth were planted deep within my very impressionable heart. It produced a kind of “Princess and the Pea” fairy tale effect. It caused me not be able to rest too comfortably on the “mattress of complacency.”

The Holy Spirit always made sure that soft whispers of wisdom would consistently move in and out of my life for many years. I recall one particular verse that I could never seem to forget. It was one of those sayings that you weighed everything against.

It’s found in the book of Ecclesiastes. It says,

It is better to spend more time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die and you should think about it while there is still time (Ecclesiastes 7:2).

You must be thinking as I did, Goodness gracious, what a depressing statement! A real bubble buster! Actually, for me it was quite the contrary. That rather gloomy statement would cause me to continually reprioritize my life.

The Holy Spirit made sure that particular Scripture was stored in a “refer to often” file within my mind. He was faithful to lead me to that mental index whenever I developed the self-centered notion that somehow my life was my own and I could live it anyway I pleased.

As James often reminds us,

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanishes away (James 4:14).

This verse is certainly not one of those “claim it” verses we so readily display on our fridges with a cute little magnet. But then again, why don’t we? Are we so in love with our lives or so deeply immersed in our pleasures that we cannot bare to be reminded that one day it will all disappear like a passing mist?

On the front of my computer at work, I keep a small, neon-colored “post-it” with the following words displayed directly at eye level: “Soon this life as we know it shall pass … only what’s done for Jesus will last.”

So what is our duty? The wisest king that ever lived summed it up in one sentence.

Fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

So, in closing, I leave you with a K.I.S.S. – “Keep It Simple Saints.” And always remember, “It’s only a minute, but eternity’s in it.” Make your vapor count!

Copyright © Missey Butler, used with permission.

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