The horrific accident that occurred earlier this week northeast of Stratford, in the village of Hampstead, Ontario, has served to remind us that life is fragile – and temporary. Eleven lives were lost in an instant. Many families are devastated.
The word ‘temporary’ itself suggests something that has to do with time. It means “to last a short time”. We may think of our lifespan as being something more than temporary, but on God’s eternal timeline, our lives each take up but a small dot. In the Grander Scheme Of Things, we don’t take up much space. Yet, in what time we do have on this earth, we make an impact. We matter to people. Much more do we matter to God!
God cares deeply about our every breath, even if the span of our lives is but a dot on God’s timeline. Too often, though, we live as though we figure we’re going to live forever, don’t we? This, despite some of our peculiar sayings, such as, “He’s driving that car like there’s no tomorrow” (meaning that the driver was going too quickly or recklessly). Life is temporary.
People who move beyond middle age often begin to realize this, and they evaluate their lives – which sometimes results in the creation of a “bucket list” – a list of things these people want to do before they die.
There’s nothing wrong with having a “bucket list”, but when it focuses on things that are, like life itself, temporary, the bucket list itself becomes somewhat vapid. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to go zip-lining before you die. In fact, it might be kind of fun – but it is decidedly temporary.
What if we really understood the temporary nature of this life, and decided to do things that, instead of impacting a few minutes now, actually made a difference for eternity?
Starting with ourselves, it means making sure that our own accounts are settled with God. As yourself: Am I engaged in a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I serving him with a community of believers and their children? Have I received the grace that God longs to pour out upon me?
Then move to your loved ones: Have I encouraged my children, my family, my friends to walk with the Lord, even as I do?
Beyond that, consider: Do I engage in acts of service that will help God’s kingdom come on earth, just as it is in heaven?
An horrific accident like the one in Hampstead shows us how quickly life can be taken away. Let’s live each moment we have investing in eternity. We don’t know when eternity may become our now!
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90.12, NLT).