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.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. (NLT)
It is both easy and natural to be preoccupied with immediate circumstances and lose sight of our mortality. The old saying tells us the two unavoidable realities of life are death and taxes. Clever lawyers and accountants may help us with the latter, but not even they can have us avoid death.
Our present lives are but a breath as the Psalmist reminds us. What we believe to be of utmost importance shrinks into insignificance when compared with eternity. Many place great value on increasing material wealth. Undoubtedly that can make life better for us and for others. Nothing wrong with wealth. But as another old saying goes, we can’t take it with us.
The busy lifestyle many live may not result in the desired achievement. The success we crave for might not be forthcoming, and even when it does come, it is only passing.
But we can draw two mistaken conclusions from this. One is that all our present-day activity is useless. Sit tight and wait for heaven. This is not the way of Jesus. We are to live life to the full and make the world a better place because we are in it. We are salt and light.
The other wrong conclusion is to succumb to despair. Do we just live out our mortal life and then sink into nothingness? The Psalmist clings to hope, not in being rich or successful in this life, but in the eternal goodness of God. We live our lives fully and fruitfully, but have confidence that there is more to life than this mortal life. We live in the shadow of eternity.