Why

Our short and mortal life

Is full of joy and full of strife.

Both the evil and the good

Make sense when it is understood

That we as creatures do not last

And time is winding down so fast.

We’d rather lash out at the skies

Than face the fact of our demise.

We’d rather blame the God of grace

Than recognize our earthly place.

But if we can accept that we

Are here just temporarily,

Death becomes less of a shock

And we can finally take stock.

We’ll see that every breath’s a gift,

Which should our saddened spirits lift.

For when you know that you will end,

You’re free to finally suspend

The need to have explained to you

Why things go down the way they do.

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In Passing

I am but a passing shade;

Here today, but soon to fade.

Yet this is not a cause for grief,

For though our stay here might be brief,

Each one of us now has the chance

To make a move in life’s grand dance.

Don’t wait another beat to say

Important things along the way.

Don’t stall in being kind or true,

And don’t stop cultivating “you.”

Be quick with generosity,

Respecting everyone you see.

Share and give and love and smile.

We’re only here a little while.

Knowing Your End

As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”Matthew 24:1-2, NRSV

We as humans fight a lot. Love, hate, war, greed, fear, politics, and difference are all instances that tend to bring out our worst. The saddest part is that all the things we usually fight over are only temporary realities. In fact, the same could be said of you and I.

We are temporary.

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 39, “Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” He had an excellent point. The life you and I have at this very moment is fleeting. It is short. It will not last forever.

The nations, symbols, practices, and issues we bicker over incessantly are also just temporary. There will be a day when the United States no longer exists. There will be a day when you and I, as we are, will no longer be present on this planet. Our breath will depart, our bodies will stop, and as Jesus says, “All will be thrown down.”

So what do we do with that info? Should we keep selfishly fighting, hoarding our resources, and sacrificing ourselves and each other for what is, at best, temporary? I don’t think so.

Instead, what if we took a page from Jesus’ book and lived with an eternal mindset? We may be temporary, but the deeds of love and mercy we decide to enact (or not) will ripple out from our lives for much longer than we could ever hope to last. We will leave an impression on this earth for generations to come, and it is an impression for which God will hold us accountable.

My suggestion is that we take a step back from whatever war we are currently being told we need to wage. Let’s look at our lives in terms of how we have loved and shown compassion. Have we shown the grace of God to our enemies, or have we just bickered with them? Have we been generous to those in need, or have we just talked and fought about them?

I feel it would benefit us to remember that our days are but a breath, and the Christ-like impressions we leave matter more than being right in a conflict that won’t matter one hundred years from now. The measure of our days is short. We only have but a few in the grand landscape of eternity. How shall we now spend them?

Peace be with you!