It’s been a tough couple of weeks in our home. Dana, the kids and I are fine, but there has been some unexpected events happen that have caused some real pain. It started with the sudden loss of a high school friend of Dana’s. Next, a friend who is battling cancer needed admitted to the hospital due to complications. A few days later, the father of 2 classmates of Carter and Emma died suddenly, leaving the young children without their father. The following day, the family of close friends lost their first baby at term due to complications, being delivered stillborn.
These events have been with me in my prayer time, and have made me reflect on what to take away from them. My mind immediately thought of what Solomon states in the book of Ecclesiastes, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” Vanity is defined as “something that is empty or valueless”, and the Hebrew word used in the original writings, hebel, translates to “vapor”. The basic idea that Solomon expresses in these writings is that everything, including life, is fleeting. In a nutshell, life is short!
Although deep down we all know that we all will someday die a physical death, many of us don’t live life within this reality. It’s almost like we ignore this simple, fundamental truth. But ignoring the “vanity” of our lives, it enables us to, as my wife often says to me, “sweat the small stuff” far too often (yes, I’m 100% Type A personality, sweating the small stuff is what I do!). However, it also compels us to hold onto grudges and deny forgiveness, and ultimately, not love others as we should.
The last few days I’ve been dedicated to not sweating the small stuff, and to live life daily with more urgency. Our time here is short. Reflecting on this truth will allow each of us to live life each day, fully with joy.
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow brings – What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)