Remember counting to 10 Mississippi at recess or during a game of Hide & Seek? Using those skills, count to 3 Mississippi. Ready?
In the 3 seconds while you counted, 6 people somewhere around the world died.
In the 19 seconds that it’s taken you to read to this point, 36 people have died. The human race is currently dying at a rate of 1.9 people per second (118 per minute, 7,0777 per hour, 169,863 per day). Every 25 minutes, the amount of people who died around the world equals the amount of deaths during the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers.
Why the morbid blog post?
Because the Bible isn’t shy about how fleeting life is. In fact, it talks pretty regularly about it…
…make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! – Psalm 39:4 (ESV)
He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again. – Psalm 78:39 (ESV)
My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass. – Psalm 102:11 (ESV)
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. – Psalm 103:14–16 (ESV)
Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. – Psalm 144:4 (ESV)
For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? – Ecclesiastes 6:12 (ESV)
…What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.- James 4:14 (ESV)
In light of that, here’s a quick letter to you…
Dear Dying Blade of Grass,
Time is a limited resource. Your allotment has already been dealt, but there’s no telling how much is left. Therefore, make the most of it.
Numbering your days will either give you a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) or a heart of worry. Choose the former. A heart of worry may in fact be your demise. Each day has enough of its own worries, and none of us can add an inch to our height by worrying. So why try?
Don’t stop planning, just change your mindset as you do so, holding each moment, each relationship, and each resource with an open hand. Planning is good, just don’t over-plan. As a fellow dying blade of grass, I want to always recognize my limited lifespan.
In the scope of eternity, our time on earth may appear as a passing shadow, but life can still have substance. In fact, the more we realize that life is a shadow, the more substance and depth life will naturally take on.
Since death is an inevitable event for withering flowers like ourselves, make sure to be prepared for it; don’t deny its inevitability. It is appointed for all to die, and then the judgment. You’ll want to be ready when it comes time to break camp, fold up your earthly tent, and go home. After all, we are sojourners and pilgrims, citizens of heaven.
Life on Earth has its perks, but thankfully the next life is the best life!
A Fellow Dying Blade of Grass