Wisdom brightens a person's face and changes its hard appearance. -Ecclesiatstes 8:1

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mere Vapor

I remember several years ago, my preacher did a sermon on the verse:

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” –James 4:14

The preacher said he had contemplated this verse while turning on a humidifier in his sick child’s bedroom. As it began releasing steam, he watched. And he counted. It seems a vapor lasted approximately 36 seconds before it disappeared.

He went on to compare this 36 seconds of time to our lives in the realm of eternity. Our lives are only a mere vapor in the grand scheme of things.

If that is the case, then we certainly need to remember that anything we have or want on Earth is not important. Nothing is everlasting, except for life in Heaven.

So, in reflection on yesterday’s post where I said, “It is so hard to make those decisions on if we should do something to make us happy now, or if ultimately having a child is going to make up for all of that,” I now have some perspective.

I have to remind myself from time to time that it isn’t about what is making us happy now; that having THINGS is not what we ultimately need to focus on. The privilege of even having a life here on Earth to worship our Creator and the ability to love others should be enough. Happiness is something that God will provide, no matter the circumstances.

My husband and I may never be able to re-floor our house. We might never be able to knock down that half wall. We might never even be able to have a child. But it is in God’s ultimate plan that we have eternal life and we should choose to live this vapor in service to Him and not be concerned with worldly things.

These 36 seconds are a privilege. We should be thankful.


Ryan said...

You know, I had a comment typed up yesterday saying pretty much that same thing, then I chickened out for whatever reason and didn't post it. It basically said that to me, it is possible to go overboard with the goal of being debt free to the point that you lose out on what really matters; relationships. Those are what matter. Not the things. Not how nice the house is. Not how much stuff you have. It's how strong your relationships are with those you love, friends and family, and that includes the relationship that you are longing for with a child, and to take it up a notch, a child that really needs a loving set of parents. I know ultimately debt is a bad thing, and I know we need to be better stewards and not owe and all that stuff... but the fact is, we can't take it with us, any of it, and that includes the debts. So what if we live our entire lives debt free but have sacrificed so much living and experiences and fellowship? In the end would it have been worth it?

This comment isn't meant to belittle your goals of becoming debt free as soon as possible, that is very admirable. I just hope it serves as something to think about in order to help get some balance--and as you've mentioned you've already gained--perspective.

Blake said...

Thanks for the comment! And I do agree. Being gungho for getting debt-free is a strain on relationships sometimes and we've not done it as quickly as it should have been done because we have "indulged" in some things in order to spend time with those we love (weekend trips, hotel stays, etc.)

I will say though, it was the adoption that got us into the whole debt-free thing because a) we need money to adopt and b) they look at all your finances when they start trying to determine if you'd be fit parents. It was embarrassing when we started to lay that all out on paper and saw the number, plus it is frowned upon to have debt when you are trying to adopt. Just another aspect of the process that is totally unfair.

Regardless, the persepctive I wrote about above is something I need to constantly remind myself of and it is also hard to swallow- at times.