Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handsbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight, surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Psalm 39:4-5
The author of this Scripture, David (who was the most respecting king of ancient Israel in the Old Testament–the first half of the Bible), was going through some sort of crisis that caused him to think about the brevity of life, and to go as far as to ask God Himself to remind him of how short and transient life is.
Our culture isn’t nearly as brave as David. We have an oxy-moronic relationship with mortality. We hate to think or talk about it, yet we spend billions of dollars a year and countless hours trying to postpone it:
We spend nearly $20 billion a year on plastic surgery, all to get a Joan Rivers face, J-Lo butt, 6 pack abs, and porn star boobs.
We spend $22 billion annually on makeup.
Many countries and cultures elsewhere in the world celebrate age and honor the elderly. We run from it–we stop freely acknowledging our age at 29, and we send our elderly away to “retirement villages”.
We cut, pluck, shave and dye grey hairs. We use wrinkle cream, moisturizing cream, masks, peels, sugar, sand, facials, and other such products to ward off the signs of aging.
Everywhere you look, there are more and more 40 year olds trying to dress like they are 18 again.
We are trying so hard to run from our mortality. But no matter what we do, it’s always just a breath or a heartbeat away—and no amount of denial can change that fact.
Chances are, most of us will live for several more decades. We’ll work hard, hopefully save enough to retire, and get to see our grandbabies. But what if there were no next month for us? What if we only had 30 more days to live—guaranteed? How would we live differently? How do we make David’s words in Psalm 39 a reality in our lives? How can we start living for the things that really matter? How can we turn the corner and realize that life is short, and start living in the moment?