My daughter enjoys playing with my hair and pretending to be a hairstylist. She was working on my hair last night and asked if she was almost done. She said, "these take a long, long time...like 5-7 minutes! That's forever." I laughed. When you're a kid time moves so slow, but as you age, you realize you don't have that much left. Well...Scripture speaks to the nature of our short lives, how they are like a vapor. But rather than be discouraged by this fact, it shoudl equip us with wisdom to make the best use of our time. Don't waste your most precious commodity.
Hey everybody, and welcome back to the Set Your Mind Above Podcast! I’m your host BJ Sipe – I’m a Christian, a preacher, a husband, and a father. In this podcast we take everyday, ordinary events and explore how they can teach us extraordinary, eternal truths. I’m so glad that you joined me for this episode. Now, let’s open up our minds, our hearts, and our Bible’s together.
First of all, y’all are so patient with me as of late. Again, it’s Wednesday – not Tuesday, and I really appreciate you being flexible with when the podcast drops. I’m thinking I might just shift it to Wednesday going forward, because with our new schedule with three children and some of my other studies, that is starting to look like a better day to drop going forward. So, just be aware of that for future weeks. Anyhow, I’ve got one pretty cute story to share with you guys today – and this one comes from my daughter Ava. Whenever I get home from work, the first thing I generally hear is “daddy’s home!” from one or both of the older kids, and they come barreling into my arms before they ask me to play with them. Well, such was the case yesterday, and Ava wanted to do something very special with me – she wanted to play “hairstyles”. This is such a fun time. Ava will go and get her brush, her hair-ties, different bows & combs, and then come and give me a special “hairstyle”. I sat down on the couch and she tied a bandana around my neck to “catch the hair like at the barbers” and proceeded to give me a hairstyle. Dane cut my hair with pretend finger scissors while Ava proceeded to send my hair in about 1000 different directions with her comb. They were having a ball, but we had to cut it short because dinner was ready, so I promised Ava, “We can finish up right before bed.” Well dinner and bath had come and gone and it was now bedtime, and she reminded me of my promise. So, I grabbed one of her brushes and handed it to her to let her do a special hairstyle before we said goodnight. After a few minutes I said, “Are you about done honey? It’s bedtime.” She responded, “No daddy, hairstyles take a long, long time. So long. Like 5-7 minutes. You just need to be patient.” I started to laugh as she ran a brush through my beard now, “So 5-7 minutes is a long time huh?” “Yeah daddy, that’s like forever.” She finally finished and we said goodnight and I walked out to our living room and sat down by the fire. The mind of a child is such a funny thing, isn’t it? 5-7 minutes feels like forever to a 4-year-old. Time seems to move so much slower when you are a child, doesn’t it? I remember back when something being a year away seemed like an eternity. As a child I awaited Christmas with unmatched glee, but then would be so sad on the day after Christmas because it was going to be a full year before it would come again. But now that I am older, time seems to have sped up and just continues to go by faster with each passing year. My children are growing up fast right before my eyes – years feel like months, months feel like weeks, and weeks feel like days. As you grow older, you begin to realize that you don’t have as much time as you always thought you would have. You learn to cherish the time that you have, because all you have to do is blink and your life will pass you by. In the grand scheme of things, a lifetime is not a long time. Even if we are blessed to live for the better part of a century, if you were to ask anyone in their upper years, they would more than likely tell you that life is so short. To quote the infamous line from Ferris Buehler, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around every once and a while, you could miss it.”
As a matter of fact, Scripture attests to this time and time again. Consider the following passages with me. For starters, the Psalms speak to this matter frequently. Psalm 90:10 says, “Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.” Again, in Psalm 39:4-5 also reads, ““Lord, make me aware of my end and the number of my days so that I will know how short-lived I am. In fact, you have made my days just inches long, and my life span is as nothing to you. Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor. Selah” This language of life being a vapor would also be borrowed by the New Testament author James, who wrote, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.” (James 4:14) To illustrate this, I want you to picture the following. The weather is getting colder now, and if you live somewhere like I do the temperature is starting to drop into the lower 40’s and we have even hit into the high 20’s/low 30’s a couple of times already. On a cold night, I want you to walk outside, take a deep breath, and breathe out into the dark night. What will you see? Naturally, you will see your exhaled breath projected out in front of you…but it does not linger. It is only there for a moment, but then it dissipates, and it’s gone. This is how Scripture illustrates how quickly our lives pass by. We are here today but gone tomorrow. What changes between the days of being a child and being an adult that you begin to realize this? I think much of it stems from becoming painfully aware of our mortality. In our youth, we don’t think about death. We feel like we are going to live forever. But as we age, we understand this is not so. Suddenly, the years we have left on this life seem much fewer and shorter than they once did. While many might think that having this knowledge is unsettling or discouraging, Scripture teaches us that much rather there is great wisdom in this. Consider what Psalm 90 would go on to say in vv.12, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” When we live with the end in mind, it changes our perspective and in turn will change the way in which we live. Wisdom teaches us that our greatest commodity is time, and we must learn to spend it well so as not to waste it. Paul himself would write in Ephesians 5:15-16, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” We only have so many years to live on this earth, to bear fruit for the Lord and make an impact on others in our life. Understanding how quickly our lives pass teaches us to not waste what little time we are given. Rather than spending each night mindlessly in front of a television, we spend time with our family & enjoy the years with our children at home, preparing them for their own walk of faith. Rather than putting off the things we know we must do to grow for a more convenient time, we become proactive in our spiritual and personal growth. Whatever it might be, the point is this: life is shorter than you think. Don’t waste the precious gift you’ve been given by God, use the time you have now, right now, to do his will and accomplish his purposes in your life.
Thank you for tuning in for this week’s episode, and I would invite you back every Wednesday for a brand-new episode each week. If you haven’t already, be sure to find us on Facebook for occasional announcements and special video sessions. If you have benefited from this podcast, please if you’re able to be sure to share it with someone else that you think could benefit from it as well. Until next time, know that I love you, that God loves you, and may we all each & every day set our minds above.