Life Is Short, So Burn Bright


This morning I read the following snippet from Psalm 103 as part of my daily Bible reading: 
15 The life of mortals is like grass,    they flourish like a flower of the field;16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,    and its place remembers it no more.
As I read those first two verses, they struck a chord with me and stirred up my imagination. 

Perhaps they did so because we are days into a brand new year, and I've been reflecting on how fleeting time seems to be.  Or maybe it's because of the aches and pains I am feeling this morning from yesterday's workout at the gym (ouch!). 

At any rate, I couldn't help but recall the words of Shakespeare, who wrote the following lines:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (Macbeth)
Here's the thing, if you spend too much time living in the rear-view mirror---wishing that you'd done this or that, taken one road over another, made better decisions--it becomes far too easy to let yourself go down the rabbit hole of self-pity, despair and crushing regret.

If you leave off reading Psalm 103 at verse 16, you might be tempted to go to those dark places... But if you keep reading, the next verse goes like this:
17 But from everlasting to everlasting    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,    and his righteousness with their children’s children... 
 Come on!  What this passage teaches us is so profound and transformative.  It acknowledges a seriously sobering fact:  Our lives are short.  But it also highlights something beautiful about the short, frail lives that we've been given: Our short, frail lives are filled with meaning and purpose because of the great, never-ending love of God. 

So you can either let the brevity of life and the fleeting nature of time lead you to despair, or you can let the great love of God fill you with such fire and passion that you live every day of your short, frail life to the fullest. 

And then pass that passion and fire to your children, and your children's children---let them see you burn brightly with the love of God that is within you.

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  sh


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