Occasionally while driving, I have been faced with the need to abruptly apply the breaks to prevent a calamity. More often, I have time to come to a complete stop in a slower, more controlled manner. For reasons unknown to me, God is affording me time to plan and prepare for my exit from this world with a heart full of gratitude to Him for so many blessings.
We’ve had friends with no previously identified health issues who were suddenly taken without warning. I’m thinking of three individuals—two were women—one had two young children, the other had two young adult daughters. The third was a hard-working, loving husband and doting father of four daughters—one still an infant. In each case, these wonderful people were snatched away in their prime. Friends and family were in total shock and disbelief.
A wonderfully astute and affirming friend who once taught my Gregg Shorthand class at Pasadena High School was soon approaching her hundredth year. During a memorable phone conversation about five years ago, she remarked, “Leslie, all of my contemporaries are gone.” Her statement caused me pause . . . I still have friends who care. What would it be like if all my friends were gone? It brought me face to face with how quickly time passes.
Even though I realize life is fragile and brief, it never occurred to me that mine could be cut short due to a progressive, degenerative disease. At times it seems as though I’m peering down on my life from above . . . like it’s not really me who has been diagnosed with a serious illness. The only word that fits is . . . surreal.
These verses from the New Testament book of James have helped guide my life. Perhaps they will speak to you, too.
James 4:13-16 (Living Bible)
Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business.” How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we shall live and do this or that.” Otherwise you will be bragging about your own plans, and such self-confidence never pleases God.
Reportedly once seen on a graveyard headstone . . .
12 Replies to “Life is fleeting . . .”
Yes, only GOD knows the number of our days. Looking forward to that upward call, and yes, our present state is but a brief moment in the eternity that GOD has planned for us. Looking forward to spending it with you and all those who have gone before us. Praying for those who have yet to choose Him. We are so thankful to know you are secure in Him. Love you forever and always!
Thank you, Vicki, for your timely reminders for sharing your wisdom. Love you.
Leslie, your insights and thoughts cause me to consider my own life. Since I have known you, I have recognized that you have a child-like faith and a devoted heart for Jesus. You are my hero and inspiration. ❤️
Thank you, Marjy, for continuing to be the wind in our sail. 😉
Such a beautifully written piece, Leslie, a profound quotation, and a wonderful photograph. I’m feeling grateful to be included on your mailing list!
You’re feeling grateful?! I’m overjoyed that you and so many others are taking time to read my blog posts and write messages of support. Thank you, Ronn!
Dear Leslie, Indeed, it is surreal, and we cannot imagine your struggle to get your head around the diagnosis, in spite of all the support. We all know that we are born to ultimately die, and that death is the real beginning, mysterious as it is. To be experiencing on a daily basis this truth is enormous, and your faith, your present and past happiness and blessings are giving you the strength and comfort you need each day. I know that our sense of time and the time allotted to us can be an obstacle to our experience. We believe that a newborn who lives only briefly, or even a pre-born in the womb who dies naturally before birth is experiencing love, if even for a moment, and in the receiving, is giving love, even the child in the womb. Each child of God has its perfection in that, and you in your candid sharing of such a difficult journey are reminding us of that. Thank you for sharing your fear, as well as your courage. When the “thief comes in the night”, you will be ready, and we must ready ourselves for that eventuality. As Mother Teresa once said, it is possible to be in heaven with Jesus on earth, and we feel that presence in you, with all its full emotion. Meantime, may the higher comfort of the new ventilator and the feeding tube procedure equip you better for the practical demands of your condition. We humbly thank you for your newest sharing and the memories too in the VW with your Dad. Our love and prayerful thoughts of you and Jon and the dogs and hens and nature in Los Osos after the rain. Genevieve and Dolfi
Dearest Genevieve. You are helping make sure our main sail catches the wind so as to minimize fluttering into doldrums. Your prayers are central! We are quite exhausted. Cumulative effect of over two years of appointments (many long distance), tests, procedures, now the learning curve in the proper use of the MIC-KEY feeding system, and a new breathing machine set for delivery and programming this week. To say it’s all been a bit much would be a GROSS understatement! YOU and Dolfi understand since you’ve lived through many of life’s harsh circumstances. Thank you for writing!
Leslie, your commentary including the Bible verses you share are uplifting and inspiring. Continuing to pray for you and your family.
Thank you, dear Luella, for following my blog and taking time to write. Your words of encouragement and your prayers mean so much❣️
Truer words were never written. In the blink of an eye, things can change. We love you, and are thankful for sharing with us.
Oh Nancy, thank you for coming on my website and leaving your compelling comment. None of us get through this life unscathed. Each of us has experienced loss of dear ones, but our lives are so much the richer for having lived with and been loved by some of the best of God’s creations. Love you❣️