East Tennessee is home of the great Smoky Mountains. I will not here challenge the title though I have often wondered about both the word "great" and "mountains". Having been to the top of the highest peak in California (14,000 feet), the 6,000 foot heights of TN do not seem like mountains or all that great.
But I digress. They are called the Smoky mountains for a reason. Many times during the year the mountain is covered in a mist that that makes it look like they are on fire. It is a beautiful thing to see.
The mist, though, is temporary. Over the morning hours the mist will burn off in the sun. Mist is like that, very temporary and easily removed.
Read: James 4:13-17; Psalm 90: 5, 6, 10, 12
13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning-
6 though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.
10 The length of our days is seventy years— or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
One common thread runs in both of these readings: our lives are SHORT. We often forget that (that is the purpose of distractions and movies!) but the truth remains ... we are dying as we live.
As I reflect on this theme I wonder if this is not one of the key causes of luke warm Christian living. I wonder if this is not one of the roots of passionless living. You see, if I choose to number my days "aright" many other things will fall into place and in proper order. This is what deadlines do to us. Deadlines force us to prioritize. We are less distracted. *Death will do the same thing. *Death is the ultimate deadline! If we number our days aright we will gain a heat of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
If I live as if I am going to die at any moment, if I live as if today is my last day on earth, if I face that fear head on then other things will gain perspective. For example, if I believed I were going to die today I would be less afraid to share Christ with my lost neighbor. I would be less worried about my income. I would be less hungry to make that next buck. I would be more tolerant and patient. I would prioritize things differently.
I heard a story about those that died in the planes on 9-11. When they realized that they had an appointment on God's calendar not a one of them called their stock broker! Each one called his family. That appointment, the reality that they were just a mist, shifted their priorities.
Think through dying today. What does that mean for you and your family? What is still undone? Is there anything you need to say or do before that day comes? You never know when that event shows up on God's calendar. Will you sell out for Christ? If you have been slow to sell out for Him it might be because you have not spent much time thinking through your life and its brevity.
Are you prepared to die? Many think they have all the time in the world. Confess Jesus Christ as Lord today. Confess your sins to him and be saved.
Listen to the Graverobber song in the DevoLink Worship Center. Listen to the words carefully.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.