“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, an then vanisheth away.” – James 4:14
“The life in us is like the water in the river. It may rise this year higher than man has ever known it, and flood the parched uplands; even this may be the eventful year, which will drown out all our muskrats. It was not always dry land where we dwell.” – Henry David Thoreau
“For that we ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.” – James 4:15
Today I watched a YouTube video about a woman named Gladys Wilson who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000. I’m not going to describe the video; go online to YouTube and type in Gladys Wilson and Naomi Feil. I actually gasped at the end. It is a powerful statement about life. The video shows what James wrote: that life is truly a vapor, it appears for a time and then vanishes.
I have always liked Thoreau’s analogy that life is like the water in the river. Sometimes it just flows along calm on the top, but the currents below may be moving swiftly. Then, there are the rapids and those stagnant pools that back up off the main channel. The kind of pools where the slime grows; where the flies, mosquitoes propagate; no fresh water flows in and no way for the stagnant water go.
I often wonder where my life is going to take me? I know I am not living in a stagnant pool. I hope I am no longer going to have to bounce uncontrollably through the rapids. I am always vigilant of the pull of the swift currents below the placid surface.
Right now I have put my life on hold. I am waiting impatiently for spring. I do not wish to take up my winter projects again. Those swift undercurrents have made it impossible for me to begin my outdoor projects. I am looking for an answer. So far, the only answer I have found is that there is no answer. I must allow life to flow through me like the water flows through a river. Sometimes it is calm, sometimes it is not.
This past couple of weeks has shown me that life is not controlled by me. My life has been like a vapor, a freezing rain – a snow storm, here and then gone. I shovel my way out to the bird feeder and watch as the birds swoop down for nourishment. I wonder if they are thinking, like I am, what is life going to throw at me next?
Page 2 of 2 - What I have come to realize is that I have no control; I understand life is a mist, a vapor. The important truth is: “we ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live.” The Lord gives us life; what we do with it is our choice. When the vapor vanishes is out of our control. How we react to the currents, the rapids and stagnant ponds, how we “do this, or that” is under our control.
“The life in us is like the water in the river.” It will run its course.