January 11, 2019
In chapter four of the Epistle of James, we are told that our life is “just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Whatever was intended by this interesting word picture, the writer certainly wanted to illustrate that our life on Planet Earth goes by quickly. Vapor rising from a teapot is soon out of sight.
The average lifespan for humans has changed during my life journey. Growing up, I heard people talk about someone who was really old – they were 80. In our circle of friends today, we know many who are in their 90’s and one who is 106. Changed lifestyles, better eating habits and medical advances have been impacting.
We are hearing people suggest that eventually all challenges to our health will be overcome and the potential for extreme longevity exists. I wonder what the writer James would say about this. In the context of forever, 50 years or 500 years makes little difference. I believe that was his point in comparing our life to a vapor.
I have tremendous appreciation for the advances of medicine. From the human perspective, this is the reason I am still on Planet Earth, because I am challenged by the same disease that took my grandfather’s life. My “vapor” has the potential of outliving his. But for both of us, the journey is one day at a time. That is the same for every individual.
Someone once suggested that we should makes plans to be useful for years ahead while living in a way that if our life is over today, we will be prepared as much as possible. Jesus said we should pursue His priorities, live a righteous life and not be anxious about tomorrow because today has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:33-34). That is the perspective I desire to have today.
Pastor Bill Ehmann