A Depressing Reality?

{mosimage}"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (James 4:14b)

I don't know about you, but when I read that verse, I thought, how true and how depressing! None of us wants to think our lives are of no consequence. None of us wants to believe our lives are short. We all want to leave some kind of mark on the world and we all want to live forever. But we all know that the reality is much different from what we want.

That verse in the book of James is a true statement and it points, like a flaming arrow, at the futility of living our lives with selfish motives. James points out the folly of making all kinds of plans and schemes just to make money, just to make our lives more comfortable. He urges us, instead, to seek God's will and do the good laid out for us to do. That, in effect, is a life of consequence, a life that will reach into eternity.

I recently read a novel, Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, which portrays this principle extremely well. The main character is an executive in a huge company in the United States, a man who makes thousands of dollars and continually plans how to make more. His boss loves him. His colleagues envy him. Some of them hate him. His wife left him and his children barely know him. He has no place for God in his life until he is sent to China to develop business relationships for the company. He looks up an old college friend, a brilliant man who was sent to study in the United States. He expects the man is a prosperous professor by now and is shocked to discover he is working as a locksmith's assistant and living in poverty. His Chinese friend has chosen God over riches and prestige.

As the novel unfolds the reader begins to see the richness of the Chinese man's life, the richness of his faith. His boss is his friend. His colleagues respect and honour him. His wife and son love him and are faithful to him. The novel portrays how the assistant locksmith living in poverty had an eternal effect. His life, though short, was of consequence. His life, though "a mist that appears for a little while," was patterned after God's will.

The verse quoted at the beginning is true but it does not have to be depressing. Living our lives according to God's will, directed by the Holy Spirit, is a sure way to joy, peace and fulfillment. Life is short but it doesn't have to be of no consequence. What is done under God's direction will last forever.

Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and freelance writer living in Alberta Canada.  Her devotional book, The Spur of the Moment has been endorsed by Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and others.  To order, and to view more of Marcia's writing, see her web site - www.vinemarc.com
Copyright Marcia Lee Laycock, 2000, 2001,2002,2003,2004

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