In September, I went to my 50th high school reunion. It was fun seeing old classmates. However, our smooth faces had become creased with a few wrinkles, the quantity and color of our hair had changed, and our bodies had different shapes to them. Reunions remind us of the brevity of life. We wonder where the years have gone. Someone has said, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” Now, I wouldn’t compare life to toilet paper, but it does seem that time moves faster the older I get. The Bible describes life as a vapor, or smoke, here only for a short time.
One of Israel’s songs has been preserved in our Bibles as Psalm 39. In verse 4 the writer addressed God and said, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.” Another Psalm says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The brevity of life should motivate us to seek wisdom. Proverbs 9:10 reveals that the bedrock upon which wisdom rests is a proper appreciation of and response to God, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
A healthy, reverent, fear of God acknowledges that He is the highest authority in the universe and that He sees everything I do. He is aware of all my thoughts. It should motivate me to be careful how I live, how I spend my time and resources. This is what 1 Peter 1:17 tells us, “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.”
None of us is guaranteed 70 or 80 years. We each have a limited number of days. The directory at my reunion also listed classmates who have died since we graduated. Illness or accident can take us at any time. Wisdom says, “I always want to make sure that my relationship with God and others is clear.” This was the Apostle Paul’s desire, when he said, “I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”
We need to be ready at any moment to leave this world and stand before God. Through Jesus, we can be forgiven of all our sins and enjoy right standing with God, being assured of Heaven. If you haven’t yet trusted the resurrected Christ as Savior, I recommend Him to you. I think it’s the wisest decision anyone can make.