Sooner Than We Think

Tim Richards   -  

Sooner Than We Think

I am writing today’s column the day after I had the honor of conducting my Uncle Ronny’s funeral. Many members of our family gathered to celebrate his life and grieve his death. Like all families in similar situations, we not only shared special memories from his life but also caught up on what is happening in one another’s lives.

We reflected on the shortness of life and how quickly the years pass. Many pictures of my uncle were on display which made this fact obvious. Uncle Ronny’s immediate family had selected images of him as a young man, as well as photographs which showed him as he aged.

In the Our Daily Bread devotional I read today, (June 11) it spoke about the very issue we had discussed at my uncle’s funeral. James Banks described an outdoor plant which I was unfamiliar to me, the moonflower vine. This vine gets its’ descriptive name because it blooms only at night and produces large round white blooms which resemble a full moon.

Amazingly, each individual flower opens for a single night and withers when the sun rises, never to bloom again. New flowers on the vine open each night and spread a sweet aroma.

These fragile flowers are a vivid reminder of my family’s conversation at Uncle Ronny’s funeral; life is short. His death and these amazing flowers made me consider the words of David, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” (Psalm 39:4-5, NLT)

This reality prompted the writer of the devotional to correctly observe, “…God has spoken beauty into our brevity.” During the 70 to 80+ years most of us have on earth, we make our way through childhood, adulthood and eventually old age. When young, life appears to stretch out like an endless ribbon before us. However, we eventually discover what once appeared limitless passes far faster than we imagined and we ask ourselves, “where did the time go?”

The brevity of life is one more reason every person needs to seek God. Though we all get caught up in our own lives, life does not last. I am convinced we need to include God in our lives for many reasons: one is the fact that life is short, another is that God is good and finally, each of us will meet him sooner than we imagine.