DayBreaks for 8/17/17: Falling Stars and Fleeting Days
Note from Galen: Sorry for all the DayBreaks repeats these past few months. I happen to be in a very busy season of life right now. Oh, yeah, yesterday was my anniversary, so I took the day off from DayBreaks! I appreciate your understanding!
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2007:
On Sunday evening, 8/12, some friends and my wife and I sat out on our deck and watched about 2 hours worth of the Perseid meteor shower. I’d read about it before, so I was familiar with what it was. Basically, for those who may not know, it’s when the earth passes through the tail of a comet (Swift-Tuttle) that originates in the Perseus constellation. The effect of passing through this comet’s “tail” has been observed for over 2000 years, and if you missed it, don’t worry: it happens every summer and peaks at about August 12 each year. Some of the effects we observed were rather insignificant – faint streaks of light that happened so quickly that you didn’t dare blink or you’d miss them entirely – but others were very bright and left a long, glowing streak across the sky as the particles flamed out in the atmosphere.
There is a song by Fernando Ortega in which he contemplates God’s protection and Presence with us. In that song, one line goes as follows: “My days are passing by like falling stars that blaze across the night sky and then they are gone…” The Perseids gave me new perspective on exactly what that means. And I paused in my heart to take stock of my life. Life truly does fly by like blazing “falling stars”, does it not? Scripture talks about it as a mist that appears for a short time and then vanishes…I think Fernando’s take on it is more apt and seemingly (at least to me) much more realistic. Blink, and you miss it. Blink, and it is gone, over, done.
I don’t know how long the Lord will permit me to abide on the face of the earth. I’m 55 years old now (65 as of 2017). From the actuarial tables, I’ve got maybe 10 years left. 10 years. The first 20 went by so quickly, and the years from 20 to 40 even faster. Let’s not even discuss my perspective on how fast I got from 40 to 65. It’s frightening to contemplate. And if I’m lucky and blessed, I may see another 15-20 years, but with the history of cardiac problems in my family, the odds are probably against that happening, but God knows.
So, what am I to make of all this? I suppose there are several things that come to my mind:
FIRST: I wonder what it will actually be like to die. It struck me with new force that it’s an experience we can’t really prepare ourselves for – we just don’t know how it feels until we go through it. Last night as I contemplated this, I wished I could ask my father what it’s like – since he’s been there and is now at home with our Lord. I will NOT escape that experience, no matter how much I might wish to, or how good I’ve been. I can only say that I hope it will be like falling asleep and waking up to see the Lord’s face smiling at me.
SECOND: I ponder all the things that I’ve wanted to do in life, but that I’ve not yet done. Places I’d like to see. Friends I’d like to see “one more time.” Problems and temptations that I’d like to “overcome” before I say my final farewell to earth and fly to meet Him. Some of those things are unimportant – such as the places I’d like to see. But what haunts me is the thought: “As I lay on my death bed, what will be my biggest regret?” If I could answer that question and then manipulate human history and events, then I’d put that question to rest. But, alas, I cannot manipulate life, and I don’t know until I reach the moment of death what will be my biggest regret at that moment in time. But, methinks it’s worth thinking about.
THIRD: I can see the holes in my character, and their size is humbling. I see many of the faults in my obedience and love for God and others. Those are humbling, too. So what’s a man or woman to do who stops long enough to take stock of life and a future of unknown and uncertain duration? I don’t know about you, but I take great comfort in these words of Scripture from Paul’s pen in Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV) – I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. I’m glad that Paul didn’t say that he himself would have to complete what God had started. How much better that the one who began that work in us (God Himself!) will see to its completion in ME…and in you! Although it is beyond my ken and comprehension, I have God’s word on it. And if that’s not good enough to launch out into eternity, then what is?
PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for falling stars and the sweet days of life that flee from east to west in the twinkle of an eye. Life is sweet, Lord, and it is precious. May we remember what a great gift this is that You’ve given us. Thank You for Your Faithful Word and Promise to bring us to spotless perfection in Christ Jesus. You are amazing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>