Hope – you are a mist
I woke up this morning thinking about the futility of life.
In a group of men meeting at the church, last night, out of about ten, approximately all of us were dealing with serious, major or life-changing events in our close families:
death of parent / parent-in law, terminal illness, serious cancer, mental health challenges, Alzheimer’s, alienation from family member
I cycled through Mountain View Cemetery (in the City of Vancouver,) this week and remembered how quickly even stone monuments crumble. (These pictures were taken a few years ago) A turn through the cemetery is a good memento mori. When I am gone, how much will the earth remember me?
This week, I feel that James has much to tell me about life:
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Where is the hope in “you are a mist”? I was thinking – what remains once the mist has vanished? We get foggy days, here on the coast. The mist obscures everything so that you could easily lose your way, and hardly find your hand in front of your face. When the mist burns off with the warmth of the sun, you can see your path, the mountains the sky, the sun.
What we see of life seems so very real, and it is, but let us never forget that this life is not the final reality. The mist clears someday. Then we will see God face to face.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Writing during Lent, I will write forty words a day, but these are not Lent words, but may be writing “redemptively”
Today I am grateful for:
- nearly twenty crows in a leafless maple
- blue sky, sunshine and cirrus clouds (mares’ tails)
- an old brown dog
- friends in Malawi
- children learning to read and write
- spring flowers and bees
and to God, the maker – his handiwork is anywhere I look, if I take the time to see