I live today in the constant awareness that my life is endangered by the mere fact that I am still breathing. All our lives are, in this daily war zone that is our world.
The places we work. The places we worship. The places we recreate. Nothing has been left untouched by the shadow of evil.
What do we do with this reality? How do we live each day knowing our lives could be taken in an instant?
The other day I was reading a Bible passage I’ve read many times before. It speaks of the final days, of how there will “great distress on the earth.” And it comes with a reminder: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.”
Amidst the horrific events we face in our modern age, it’s tempting to allow our hearts to become weighed down.
Drunkenness numbs. The cares of this life cause us to forget. But what exactly is dissipation?
It’s one of those words I thought I knew until I looked it up. As I initially thought, it does refer to indulgence in excessive pleasure. But beyond this, it also means “to squander or deplete.” On a scientific level, dissipation is “a physical process by which energy becomes not only unavailable but irrecoverable in any form.” To dissipate is to “cause something to disappear.” When something dissipates, it becomes “less than” it was originally intended to be.
If my time here is to be short, I don’t want to waste the moments allotted me. I don’t want to squander or deplete my resources. I don’t want to use my energy on things which are meaningless in the end. I don’t want to be any less than what I was originally intended to be.
I don’t want to disappear.
I’m not speaking of disappearing in a physical sense. I’m speaking of getting so lost in temporary pleasures and worldly cares that I lose sight of who I am and why I’m here. Of numbing myself so thoroughly that I forget the wisdom of numbering my days.
The current state of affairs awakens me. It causes me to reconsider the reason for my being here. It moves me to examine my path. How far have I drifted from the purpose for which I was created?
Father, as you have promised…use all that is intended for evil and bring forth good. If anything, use the horrific events of our day to awaken within us an awareness of the brevity of life. Turn our attention to things of eternal consequence. I pray we’d no longer dissipate our existence on what will waste away in the end. Instead, let us use the short time we have here on this earth to invest in things which will last forever.
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