You Are a Mist

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  James 4:14 NIV

Taken out of context, this verse has a rather singular meaning. We hear variations on the theme with great frequency.

Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

I used to lose my mind if the freshly laundered unmentionables were not folded and put away, until one day it dawned on me. At the end of every day, I unhook them, take them off, re-hook them, put them in the wash, take them out, unhook them, hang them on the rack, fold them, place them in a basket, carry them upstairs and put them in a drawer. Wash, rinse, repeat. A feeling of liberation ensued when I finally said, “No more!” Off, wash, dry, drawer, done.

Life is short, play hard.

I like Phyllis Diller’s game plan for housekeeping:  just leave the vacuum out. If anyone comes by unexpectedly, apologize that the house is a mess and inform them that they caught you just vacuuming.

Never go to bed angry.

For that matter, don’t spend any energy being angry unless it spurs you to act in a way that creates a better world for everyone.

Make love, not war.

Strike Syria? Excuse me, but who made the U.S. government Chief Retribution Officer of the world?

Within its context, James’ verse is much deeper. Consider Verse 13: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’”

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

Pick an item off of your bucket list and do it today. Or make the reservations today. Or whatever it takes to chip away at the stone—now. Stop reading. Go do it. This will be here in cyberspace later.

James 4-14 tprnt bkgdHave you ever driven through the thick mist on a humid summer morning? But for as dense as the mist was in one moment, the sun peeks through, clearing it. You can hardly believe that only a minute prior you were driving along, barely able to see the lines on the sides of the road, disoriented in familiar territory. That is how quickly life can end.

You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.