Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Short is the Life Span of Human Beings

I'm sitting in the airport in Amsterdam on my way to Hyderabad, India. And I think I'm supposed to be tired since it's 4:00 in the morning in Tennessee, but it's 10:00 here. I'm somewhat tired, but more than that sad.

In my last posting I promised to share some thoughts on story and some of the biblical narratives. Well, I'll put that off for now because I just got the news that a friend of mine's house burned down yesterday and his son-in-law was killed in the blaze. My mouth dropped when I read the news, his family is asking for prayers so if you could, please do pray for Cec.

It reminded me, as this kind of thing always does, that life is blisteringly painful and short and tragic and harsh and stinging. And yet, it can be glorious and wonderful and joyful as well. It's a conundrum I can't unriddle. I was actually thinking about this on the flight over here, reading a book called “Living with the Devil” by a Buddhist author. He quotes Buddha: “Short is the life span of human beings. One should live as if one's head is on fire.”

Jesus also reminded us about the brevity of life, and throughout the Bible our lifespan is compared to grass and a mist that passes through your fingers. Today let's do this simple thing, you and I, let's listen to these two great teachers and acknowledge the brevity of life. Do something you would only do if you knew you were not going to live forever. Are you holding a grudge? Life is too short to waste it on unforgiveness. So forgive. Are you bitter, angry, impatient? You are only stealing joy from yourself.

Let's be thankful for the brief moment we have, called today, and let's pray for those who have been recently devastated by the dark side of the gift.


Craig said...

It's funny I read this post on a day I gave into anger rather quickly. Then, on a whim, I decided to check out this blog. Truer words have never been spoken. Life is short, and we need to live for Christ as furiously as possible, including forgiving others. Thanks for posting this, and also, my thoughts and prayers go with your friend and his family.

Panda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Panda said...

Thanks for sharing this, Steven. My prayers are with your friend and his family - what a terrible tragedy and what a grim reminder of our vulnerability!
Yes life is short and fragile and some things are just unbearable if we don't see them in the light of eternity. We need to trust that God's ways are always higher, but still life is often so unfair...
Blessings, Paul
PS Next time you are in Amsterdam - don't forget to drop by! I live just around the corner and our office is also located nearby...