“You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.” (James 4:14, HCSB)
In the day to day of my life I typically don’t pause to consider the brevity of my existence. But James tells me that my life is not permanent; rather, it’s similar to smoke which drifts away in the breeze.
Some of my favorite times have been spent around a campfire hanging out with family and friends. If a small campfire is adequate a bonfire is more preferred. I do try to stay out of the drift of the wood smoke; but of course each time the wind shifts in my direction my eyes burn a bit more in the acrid smoke. Returning to normal life the smoke is dissipated into a memory. The smoke was but is no more.
I was driving home the other day with my 8-year-old daughter in the back passenger side and my 11-year-old son in the front passenger seat. A full sized truck ran a red light at full speed and swerved hard barely missing wiping out the passenger side of my car. It happened so fast that I wasn’t even aware of the danger until the very last moment – alerted by his blaring horn. I am confident that God kept my children alive that day. The wick of their lives is still burning – smoke ascending. Thanks be to the Lord for His grace!
Moments before this incident I had touched my daughters hand – just a quick grip to tell her I love her. I had followed this by tousling my son’s hair and smiling. Then I proceeded at the green arrow light. I almost lost them both in that moment.
Life is short. It’s like smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes away. I hope to have a few campfires with my kids before my smoke disappears.