“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
James 4:14b (ESV)

Jasmine was only 70, yes, only 70. She was a “young” 70-year-old. I will never forget the time she was “carded” while purchasing a bottle of wine with our groceries. If there was a category in the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest person ever to be “carded” for purchasing alcohol, she would be in it from now until eternity! Being a “young” 70-year-old was not only about her youthful appearance but more about her youthful enthusiasm. If an event piqued our interest, her instant reaction was, “Let’s do it!” Our five granddaughters, all under six, loved interacting with her because she engaged with them at their level. They looked forward to the fake nails that she bought from The Dollar Tree™ or a new craft to work on. And she always talked to them about Jesus. Her time invested in them meant, “I love you so much!”

“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14b (ESV)

I have heard preachers expound on this verse, and I have preached on it, too. The metaphor illustrates the theological reality that this life is equivalent to a speck of dust on the timeline of eternity. This truth is now more personal. 

When Jasmine and I shared life together, we looked forward to upcoming celebrations like the next granddaughter’s birthday, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas (Jasmine’s excitement about Christmas began in July!), and Japanese festivals in Ft. Worth. We anticipated sharing the experiences of seeing our granddaughters graduate from high school and get married, or take that trip to Israel that we had always dreamed of. Those hopes and dreams have vaporized like a mist. Moses prayed, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90:12, NLT). I wish I had been wiser; I wish I had not been presumptive and taken life for granted. I would have valued time more; I would have valued Jasmine more; I would have valued time with Jasmine more.

She is now alive in heaven, but her legacy on earth continues through the imprint on the lives she touched. Her mark on my life has given me a clearer sense of purpose. Our granddaughters were all under six when she passed. When they are mature enough to understand life, they will be able to fully grasp the godly influence that their Gramma/Nama had upon their lives. Her life counted for more than she realized. It will impact the next generation.

Life is short. Do not take it for granted. Be wise and live to make a difference in the lives of others. Make it count for something that outlives you. Move forward.

Stop and Consider . . .

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Next: Life Lessons #7: Without an anchor, your life will drift. Embrace true hope, which is the anchor for the soul. Move forward.