For all its inspiration and blessing, the Christian Scriptures also, at times, and which most people would tend to avoid, offer more sobering words, such as these: What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
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What does this passage teach us? Let us go through it.
“What is your life …” means for us to set aside time to look into ourselves and ask the more serious questions of purpose and relevance. To what have dedicated our lives for? What has consumed our lives until now? To whom did we share our lives? Most of us have become slaves to materialism and disregarded the things, the people that matter.
“It is a vapor …” , the passage reminds us of the smallness of our existence. Allow yourself to imagine that you are pulling away from your body and floating, floating up in the sky, past our atmosphere, now you’re in space, now float up some more and now you get a good view of the whole Milky Way galaxy. Where is earth now? Where is your body now? We are reminded that we are not special and that the sense of entitlement that we feel from time to time is an illusion, a delusion, that we must stop.
“Little time …” Nothing is forever. Our lives will not endure forever in this plane of existence. Our troubles and our successes will not be with us forever. The steady march of time will not hold back and time waits for no one. Make every moment count. Do today what you can do. Live in the here and now.
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“Vanishes away” … Memento Mori. Remember that you, every one of us, will have to die. And this, we have to remind ourselves daily. It makes us mindful of what we do and say and of how we spend the little time, the little existence that we have.
Dom writes for pay by day and writes for passion by night. He is a Japan major at the University of the Philippines. He’s fond of ramen and anime but not of nice people.