The fourth “Life’s Lesson” I have learned on the mission field is how short life is.
A few years ago I was having chest pain and my wrist was hurting. I saw a few doctors and the majority told me that they did not know the problem and it seemed to be only a pulled muscle. The pain continued and so I continued looking for help. I finally arrived to a hand doctor where they did extensive studies and eventually made an appointment to see a specialist. I remember sitting at his desk and the doctor looking at my blood work and other studies – he looked at me and said, “it looks like you have rheumatoid arthritis.” I looked at him and remember saying, “I’m 28 years old, do you mean that I am going to have to take medication every day until the day I die?” It was at that moment the reality hit me that life is short.
We all recognize the fact that the weeks, months and years are flying by. It seems every day that I think, “I remember when …” We all know time flies by without warning, it is a fact of life. I don’t need to remind anyone that the Lord teaches us to number our days (Ps. 90:12), our life is like a vapor (James 4:14), and that we should redeem the time (Col 4:5). But the “Life Lesson” I have learned is that time is short and we must learn to enjoy the time we do have on this earth.
I believe strongly in that one should work and that one should only be paid what he does work, but I also believe that one should take time to “smell the roses” on his way through life. Serving God is the best life possible, but sadly many may have the concept that we can not have fun and enjoy life if we are serving the Lord. I have been very guilty of this and lost many wonderful memories in life because of it.
When my wife and I got married, we did not have enough wedding pictures taken. This subject has come up so many times because I simply did not think of taking more pictures at our wedding. We still have each other, but we lack the pictures to have good memories. Even if we took pictures today with the same clothes as the ones we wore on our wedding day, it would not be the same. The reason is because the time has already passed by, the opportunity is lost. And so it is with life. When time passes, you can not turn back.
One day soon we will not have kids in the house or not have the physical strength or … so I must enjoy the time God has given me today. What are some things I can do that would help my family, help a leader in the church, help my personal growth, etc. In the near future it may not matter, so I must do it now. Time is too short to not make memories.
May this “Life Lesson” always be before me – soon life will be gone and those hours I have wasted doing non-important things will be nothing more than a waste. So today I want to enjoy life serving my Savior!