Life is a mist and vanishes

I’m writing this as I’m about to go to a wedding – the daughter of two friends from college. I was a groomsman in her parents’ wedding many years ago, and it seems like just yesterday that I was visiting her when she and her twin sister were babies. Her dad, now a Captain in the Navy, was then a young Navy officer stationed at Pearl Harbor. 

Thinking about this as that baby is about to walk down the aisle reminds me of something I heard Billy Graham say at a crusade almost thirty years ago. “The greatest surprise of my life is how brief it is.” 

You always hear time flies. But the older you get, the faster it seems to go! One day I was a first-time uncle, and now my niece is driving a car. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Alma Renn was teaching me how to properly light the candles at church, or that Mildred Burroughs was teaching me in Sunday School. I am so grateful for their Christian witness, and for the service of all of those who taught me and formed me in our community. That was several decades ago, and in that time so many of the Rehoboth Church family I knew have joined the Communion of Saints, including my own father and my grandparents. But yet, their memories burn bright. The light of Christ that shined through them has illuminated my life, and the lives of so many others. 

James 4:14 asks “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Yes, our time on this earth is short. We know that none are promised tomorrow. But in our brief time here, our impact on others can last long after we are gone from this physical world. We can make memories that will last. We can reflect the light of Christ, brightening someone else’s path. Jesus said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).  As Aunt Lucy Stovall taught me years ago right here at Rehoboth, “This little light of mine, I’m going let it shine…”

[Written for Rehoboth Church June 2021 newsletter]


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