We have all heard the saying, “Live today as if it was your last one” – “Don’t take this day for granted, you are not guaranteed a tomorrow” – “Treat others the way you want to be treated, you don’t know if you will ever see them again” and on the list goes…
We all know about how short this life is. How quickly it can be taken away from us at any moment. How blessed we are to wake up in our bed this morning when so many others did not.
But I think we tend to forget that fact… until a tragedy happens, someone passes away unexpectedly and we realize once again…that tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
This week I’ve been reading Psalms and it seems that one verse after another David is trying to remind us how short this life is:
“Remember how fleeting is my life, for what futility you have created all humanity!” – Psalm 89:47
“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures, yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, as we fly away” – Psalm 90:10
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” – Psalm 90:12
And it made me wonder… why does David (and not just David… but many more scriptures in the Bible) emphasize the brevity of life? The importance of really understanding that our life is but a wave that comes and goes, grass that withers away in one day, a vapor in the wind that is there one moment and gone the next?
I think the answer is simple: when we realize how short this life is and that it can be taken away from us at any single moment it will change our perspective on how we live and what we do with our time.
We all live as if we will die when we are old and gray. The thought that tomorrow may not come for us rarely crosses our mind (at least my mind)…but imagine the difference it would make in our priorities and in life if we truly learned to “number our days” as David prayed and live our lives wisely.
If you only had one day left to live…
– Would you spend your night watching 5 episodes of your favorite TV show?
– Would you argue and say things you don’t mean to the people you love?
– Would you spend your money on that new outfit you wanted to buy or on helping a poor homeless person on the street?
– Would you go on your last vacation or on that missionary trip you’ve been putting off?
– Would you spend time with God in prayer or would you ignore Him?
– Would you choose to be extra friendly and take time to notice the people around you who need a hug or a smile or would you just focus on yourself?
– Would you worry about your yesterday’s and tomorrow’s or would you trust God and make the most of today?
– Would you step out of your comfort zone and tell that person you know has never heard about God today or would you put it off one more time, hoping someone else will share the good news with them?
How we view life makes a huge difference in how we choose to live it.
When we think we have all the time in the world to do what God calls us to do then we put things off for “tomorrow”, or for “next year”, or for when “I’m retired and have a lot of time on my hands”.
It’s a lie that we often choose to believe.
We choose to believe it because it’s more convenient, comfortable, and easy to live our lives when we are always putting off things we should do today for tomorrow. It’s easier to be selfish this way. We believe we will have the “rest of our lives” to make time for serving others – but today we can live for ourselves.
It’s easier to make excuses for the time that we waste on so many things that should have no place in our lives. It’s easier to never live a life that makes a difference…because we will have tomorrow for that.
But today I want to remind you once again…just like David reminded me yesterday: Tomorrow is not guaranteed for you.
Don’t wait for a tragedy or a death of someone else help you realize that.
Learn to make the most of today.
Don’t put something off until “later” that you can do today.
Don’t wait for tomorrow to make a difference in someone’s life.
Start making that difference today.
Because you never know… tomorrow might never come.