Making Your Life Count January 19, 2013

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Winter is a strange time in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Snow one hour…sunshine the next.  This morning I awoke to see a thick, freezing fog.  The Lord reminded me of one of the most powerful verses in Scripture:

ImageWhereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).

Vapor is an amazing thing.  It appears.  It disappears.  This is life.  It is beautiful and mysterious and then it is gone.  I think it is a wonderful thing how God uses His creation to illustrate His truth.

For many years when I was a boy my dad worked in the cemetery business.  This sounds morbid to some people, but I remember how he used to care for families who were going through the hardest time of their lives.  Whatever your dad does for a living generally becomes a point of reference.

I remember on trips someone in the car would say, “That is a nice cemetery.”  (We sounded like the Adam’s family!)  Very early I got interested in epitaphs that were written on grave markers.  It is interesting to see how people are remembered.  

People have shared some unusual epitaphs with me through the years.  Some of the stranger ones include:

  • “Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake, he stepped on the gas instead of the brake.” (Uniontown, PA)
  • “Here lies Lester Moore, 4 slugs from a 44 – no less, no more.”  (Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, AZ)
  • “Here lies an atheist.  All dressed up and no where to go.”  (Thurmont, MD)
  • “Beneath this sod lies Arbella Young, who on the 26th day of May began to hold her tongue.”  (New England)
  • “Beneath this sod and beneath these trees lies the body of Solomon Peas; this is not Peas it is only his pod.  Peas has shelled out and gone home to God.”  (Wetumpka, AL)
  • On a minister’s headstone – “Gone to another meeting.”

Others are most meaningful…

  • On A.W. Tozer’s grave marker are these words: “A man of God.”
  • A small inconspicuous grave marker in Egypt bears these words about William Borden:  “Apart from faith in God there is no explanation for such a life.”

I do not know what will be my epitaph but I do know that it is being determined every day that I live.  Life on this earth does not last forever.  Someday it will all be reduced to memories and monuments.

Could there be more?  Is it possible to make your “vapor” last?

A simple fisherman whose words are read 2,000 years later has the answer:

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:17).

Forever!  Not just today.  Not just in this life.  Forever!

The way to make the most of your life is to give it to God knowing that He can do more with it than you can.

Days end.  Breath ceases.  Life comes to a close.  But influence lives on.  Everything that we invest in God’s glory and other’s good is an investment in eternity.

This morning’s fog has disappeared.  The sun is shining now.  It is a reminder to me that the vapor which is my life will one day be gone and I will live in the perfect light of God’s presence.  On that day the only thing that will matter is whether I lived my life in the will of God.

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1 Comment

  1. gjaymorris on January 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Reblogged this on Gleanings and commented:
    Great Read

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