So often I am reminded of the brevity of life, even more now, in these later seasons of my earthly pilgrimage. Just yesterday, or so it seems, I stood in the delivery room with unbidden tears streaming down my face. A joy I had never known came welling up from a part of me that I did not know existed; God had given me a son! Now, after these few fleeting days, my eldest son is married with five children of his own. I have lived long enough to experience what my father and grandfather tried to help me grasp in my youth, “As you get older, time seems to pass more quickly.”
Perhaps God intended for all fathers to impress this truth upon their children, for even He, the Heavenly Father, has included this thought in His immortal Word. “For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again… (2Samuel 14:14a).” “…What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14b).”
On several occasions, I have heard preachers remind young congregants that in a few years, they would look back on these days and marvel at the passage of time. They didn’t get it—yet, …but I was there, and time had made a believer out of me. Now, I am a grandfather, trying to impress upon my grandchildren that, “Time waits for no one.”
In this season of life, I am more serious about the old question, “What ought we to be in light of the brevity of life? I am happy to report, I have found the answer! Here, I will share it with you; “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?… Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,… be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (2Peter 3:11-14).”
C. T. Studd (1860–1931), an English Missionary to China, India, and Africa wrote a poem with this reprise: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” I whole heartedly agree!