Despite our differences, we all have one thing in common: we’re mortal. The only distinction is timing. It’s a matter of when.
Some of my high school friends believed they had their lives stretched indefinitely before them—until sadly, tragically, and suddenly they were gone. They were older than they thought. At eighty and almost every year after, my husband’s grandma returned to the Philippines “to die.” But she was younger than she thought, living to be one month shy of 108.
No matter much time we’re given, we will one day breathe our final breath. And when we do, a fleeting thought will pass through our fading minds. “I can’t believe it’s already over. It was too…short.”
A recent scandal uncovered the secret lives of clients who succumbed to a business’ motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.” Really? Is that what we want our legacy to be? “Here lies Unfaithful. Wrecked many lives for the fulfillment of his own. Now just a corpse without a memory, while leaving behind memories of the pain he wrought.”
I would think the reality of life’s brevity would move us to nobler endeavors. As for me, it moves me to seek my purpose for being here. It makes me want to leave a worthy legacy, even if unrecognized by the masses.
At the end of our lives, do we want to be known for building, or for destroying? For loving, or for hating? For bringing freedom, or bondage? For living to gratify our fading flesh, or to benefit our generation…and generations to come? Because only God knows when we’ll take our final breath.
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” (Psalm 39:4-5)