Life Is Short

Life is short. It doesn’t seem that way when you’re a little kid. It seems like every day goes on forever and summer is a futile dream. When you’re a teenager, the days are crowded and sometimes fly by, but the wait for a driver’s license, a high school diploma, or an 18th birthday stretches endlessly. Then there’s college, where you notice suddenly how short summer is.

Life speeds up when children are born. An evening with a colicky baby may drag on, but in just a little while the baby is walking, and in the blink of an eye he’s walking out the door. By the time we figure out that we need to slow down and savor the moments, the years are gone.

I’m not fifty yet, but this week, two friends of mine are facing an end to lives that went by too fast. They aren’t finished yet with raising children, sharing retirement with their spouses, and fading into golden years. Just as they had begun to realize that time moves fast, it moved past them and in a flash they can see the finish.

I have new hopes and plans and dreams for the next thirty years of my life. I dread the thought of how fast it will go, knowing all that I want to pack in to it. I know I should slow down and savor every minute of it, because too soon it will be gone. My friends had plans for a future that they won’t live to see. There is no guarantee I’ll see mine either.

God said “I know the plans I have for you.” We make plans as if our time is guaranteed, as if each of us gets 70 years or more in which to live out our time. But God’s plans are not our plans. We get angry with Him when he cuts “our time” short. But we aren’t promised any number of years in this life. Our plans must be tentative and changeable, because they are part of a bigger plan.

I mourn with my friends that their plans will not be fulfilled. I look at my own plans and tremble at the thought of not seeing them through. But my plans are not His plans, and His ways are not my ways. So I will try to slow down and savor the time I’m given. And I will try to let God do the planning.

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