Friday, August 5, 2005

Living As Mist

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." 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. Instead, you should say, " If it is the Lord's will, we will live . . ." James 4:13-15

I didn't see the big green utility box that sits on a concrete slab. I should have, but I didn't. I was mowing my neighbor's lawn. It's just something I do from time to time; he would do the same for me. My left front wheel hit the slab the box sits on; the tractor bounced and then climbed up the face of the utility box. In a split second, the tractor went over backwards. The only thing that kept it from flipping over on its back -- and on top of me -- were the grass catchers on the back of the tractor. The baggers sprung the mower forward; the front wheels perched precariously on top of the box. I got off, put it in neutral, and pulled it back so that all four wheels were back on the ground.

In seconds, my mind went back to an incident a couple of years ago; a man in our church was killed in a similar accident. It reminded me to pray for his wife. I also began to recount what I had done with the day; what my last day on earth might have consisted of . . .

I began the day with a great time in God's Word; I journaled and did a lot of reading. Then, I went over to the office and had a meaningful conversation with one of our students who will be going off to college; we talked about walking with God. Our project manager for the new parking lot came by and we tried to take care of a minor glitch. Earlier, my oldest son called me for advice; he has two new job offers and is trying to decide which one he should take. I told him how proud of him I am. I called our Minister of Education to rib him about his "pot" problem; we had a good laugh. Josh and I made plans to go rock climbing on Saturday. Miss Meagan and I talked about soccer decisions; she is being courted by two club teams.

I am not trying to piously frame myself as a Super-Saint; I have had days that would have made an embarrassing last day. But today, I was reminded of how important a single day can be. I want to live each day well.

"You are like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes . . . If it is the Lord's will, we will live . . ." If today was your last -- what would it have looked like?

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