Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14).”
It’s so easy to mindlessly forget that this life is but a passing mist. Even more profound is that everything we do in this brief life matters forever. Are you embracing this reality as you go through life? I hope this four-part blog inspires you to make this vapor of life count. In this first part, I’d like you to see that the way you live your life is akin to weaving a tapestry. You want it to be beautiful, right? Then always remember that you alone determine how beautiful the final product turns out.
You’ve likely heard the inspiring poem about “The Dash”―you’re born, you die, and the dash is what happens in between. Ironically, while we know deep down that “time waits for no one,” we go through life as though “time is on our side.” But turning fifty will make you think about the dash. At least it did for me. There came a sobering awareness that more sand was at the bottom of my life’s metaphorical hourglass than at the top. Suddenly, my own mortality came into sharper view, and along with it, a heightened desire to be more intentional about making my life count.
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But irrespective of age, when the music of your life has been silenced by the inevitable grip of death, people will invariably speak about what you did within the dash, or what you made of your life. They will look at the fabric of your life and assess the quality of the tapestry that you wove together. They will critique not only its pattern―color, texture, richness, and overall quality―but its width and breadth as well. In short, what you made of your life. In the final analysis, each of our lives will be seen as either a beautiful mosaic that blessed and inspired others, or, like a dull, unattractive piece of fabric that had the potential to have become so much more. Time and only time will tell.
However, we’re prune to overlook that it’s what we do in the dash that will determine how beautiful our fabric actually turns out. We forget that the dash is our one and only chance to make our marks on eternity. Not only does this distract us from living life on purpose, it also fosters a nebulous view of our future. In other words, we tend to have a macroscopic view of life: we evaluate (and celebrate) someone’s life after the dash, forgetting that the resulting fabric of each of our lives is being woven each and every day. Someday, the fabric that others critique will be yours and mine. So rather than projecting into the future to the end of our lives, I’d like to suggest making a paradigm shift: namely, have a microscopic view of life.
This microscopic view means taking to heart that it’s how we live each and every day that will ultimately determine the sum total of our lives. Now, not later, is the time to weave quality and beauty into our life’s tapestry.
Just as the look and feel of a fabric is determined by the intrinsic quality of the fibers and threads used, so is the fabric of our lives. What kind of fabric are you weaving with your life? In part 2 of this blog, we’ll look at the fibers and threads that add beauty and richness to the tapestry of our lives..