Life is a Vapor
James 4:14-15 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Have you ever felt that there just isn't enough time in the day, or the week? I know that when I started to write a blog on the church web page I thought I had plenty of time and I would be able to get one done at least once a week, or if I got too busy perhaps twice a month. I have stayed busy with being a pastor, working my secular job, being a city council member, and being a husband and a dad. That is not a complaint, I enjoy all of these things, but I have discovered time passes quickly. The last time I posted a blog was over a month ago.
This week, time has been on my mind. Time seems to be passing quicker than it did ten years ago. I know that is not reality, but that is how it feels. I remember when my dad turned 40. (He is 30 years older than me). I thought he had gotten old. This past week I turned 48. My dad's birthday is on June 7 and mine is on June 8. At this point in my life I do not think 78 is very old, and 40 is very young. Our view on age changes as we get older.
This week I took my four boys camping at a state park. We slept in our tent, we hiked, and we swam. There is a big difference camping at 28 and camping at 48. This morning, as I type this, I feel muscles that I forgot I had. Several years ago, my son, Caleb, who is 19, and my daughter, Katherine (I prefer to call her Katie), who is 20, went camping with me. I do not remember the exact year, but they were probably 6 or 7 years old. It was October 31st, and it was cold. For some reason we could not set up the tent. I do not remember the reason why. (Time begins to steal memories). We got a campfire going. Katie decided to sleep in our van. Caleb and I decided to sleep like cowboys, under the stars. We slept out by the campfire. In the morning we both woke up with a layer of frost on our sleeping bags, but we were well rested and excited to see what the day would bring. I do not feel that way today. I feel tired and sore.
Today, I realize that our life is like a vapor. The picture with this blog was taken yesterday. In the morning there was a fog as we hiked. This was taken after some of it had already cleared. An hour or so later it had cleared away and was sunny. The fog is just a memory in a photograph. This may sound like I'm being pessimistic. I do not intend to. In reality I feel more motivated to be busy doing the things I'm supposed to be doing. Someone may ask, how do we know what we are supposed to be doing? The answer is to seek after God's will and His desire. Some people may question why I "wasted" time camping, aren't there more important things I could have been doing? My answer is this. I need to be a father to my children. I need to spend time with them. If I were to fail as a father I would fail as a pastor.
I want to encourage you, as you read this today, to ask God what He would have you do. How do we know what He wants us to do? There are several answers.
First, be a follower of Christ - be saved, that is God's will for everyone. II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. His desire is for all people to be saved. God gives us a free will. Many choose not to accept His plan of salvation. He does not force us to accept it, but we will not experience true fulfillment if we reject it. If you would like to know more about how to be saved I would encourage you to contact the church through this website. I would be more than happy to share with you God's simple plan of salvation.
Second, regularly study the Bible. II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. If we do not study God's Word, how will we be a good workman? A good employer lets his employees know what is expected of them. He will let them know through verbal and even written communication. When I started my secular job I was given an employee handbook. It lists rules and expectations. I was also given a department handbook that has more specific rules and expectations. The Bible is like those handbooks. It contains general rules and expectations. For example, salvation is for everyone and there is a way to attain it. Honor your parents is also for everyone. Others are more specific. There are specific directions on being a parent. (Not everyone is a parent). There are specific instructions for pastors and church elders, for husbands and wives. God desires us to know how to be a good workman that is not ashamed.
Third, I Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the spirit. When a person is saved they are given the Holy Spirit. We have the Holy Spirit to give us an understanding of the Bible. We have the Holy Spirit to give us direction, but we quench the Spirit when we insist on doing things are way. When we refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit we are sinning. Even when we are doing things that are morally good. If it is not what we are supposed to be doing; it is sin. For example, being a pastor is a good thing, but if God does not want you to be a pastor, it would be a sin to be one. The Holy Spirit doesn't speak to us or teach us when we have quenched Him. We quench Him by ignoring Him. When we recognize that doing things our way is sin and get things right with God the Holy Spirit will now teach us. I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God has specific responsibilities for you today. Life is short. Do not waste time doing things your way. Ask God for His leading. One day you and I will face God. Will we be ashamed of our work, or will we hear, " Well done my good and faithful servant?"