DayBreaks for 7/01/16 – Wise Philosophy
Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:
Psalms 39:4-7 (NLT) – LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
Our congregation has been hit hard recently with unexpected illnesses. Some have been to parents of members who are well advanced in years. Somehow, those things are not as surprising as when they happen to little ones. We have a family in our church right now who has a little boy (3-1/2 years old) who is lying in Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care unit at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, waiting for a heart transplant. This little boy suffers from a fatal heart disease and the only hope for him (barring God’s miraculous intervention which we are all praying for) is a heart transplant. He suffered cardiac arrest around the first of the month and has been on a respirator since then and since having a partial “artificial heart” implanted to help keep him alive until a suitable transplant heart becomes available.
That just isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen. When unexpected things happen to little ones, we’re shocked, stunned and grieved beyond words. Why do these things happen? I’m not really looking for an answer in the philosophical/religious sense, but I think that one of the many lessons we can, and should learn from these types of things is this one: life is short and so very precious. It doesn’t really matter if it’s someone in their 80’s or 90’s (life is still short, even if you do live to be that age) or a newborn.
Someone once came up with this insight:
“Live for Him today – for tomorrow may be too late” versus “Live for today – for tomorrow may never come.”
What a difference between the two attitudes and outlooks. One is very self centered – living for today implies that we are living for ourselves, for our own existence, and that if we don’t live for today we may regret it when tomorrow comes because we will have missed out on experiences that we could have enjoyed in this life. The other is outward focused – living for Him – and not worrying about experiences we might miss out on. In reality, it’s trading one set of experiences in life (and eternity!) for another based on a value judgment that we make.
We must decide, given the few frail years that we are allotted, where we will place our greatest value and attention. On ourselves and living for what we can get out of life here and now (because tomorrow may not come), or for Jesus because if we don’t live for him today, we may never live for him (or with him)!
Which of these two philosophies best represents the way you live your life? What evidence do you have to back up your thinking?
PRAYER: We have so much to learn, Lord, and we are so prone to trying to learn from all the wrong sources. Thank you for the reminders in your word that life is uncertain, that death is certain, and that eternal destinies are realities that we must all come to grips with. Help us to have wisdom to live for You today, trusting that in the end, it will have been absolutely the wisest, and best thing to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.