“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Psalm 39:4-5
With the beginning of the New Year, I realized that I never quite understood the paradoxical capacity contained in life, that is the brevity of each individual life despite the permanence of the effect that each could have on another.
We must ensure that while we celebrate the goodness of God, we do not neglect the purpose of God. Recognize that God’s intention is to use us as vessels for good. Not simply to do good, but to generate good, to lead others to good.
We live each day under the illusion that we have an endless amount of time to make the impact God designed us to make. This state of mind is compacted by our susceptibility of focusing on ourselves: our own problems, our own regrets, and our own past. We are consumed with trying to be loved instead of loving others and waste our time trying to control things we can’t control.
We must understand that our actions are not isolated events; rather, they are given meaning through the ripples they inevitably generate. I am reminded of Rahab. One action was carried through a generation, weaving a bloodline that can be traced to Joseph, father of Jesus. So I ask myself, why do we choose to live under the ignorant impression that our actions are any less dynamic?
We have lost confidence in the power of influence, and because of this, we have lost the beauty of its art.
Live in 2010 with the awareness that your days are numbered. My resolution for the New Year is simple, but powerful. Abandon selfishness. Love others. Give sense to existence by giving to someone else. Don’t just live each day as if it were your last; live it realizing that it is someone else’s beginning. A life touched by God always ends in touching others.
“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
~Emily Dickinson, “If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking”