Attention Word Slingers readers: Beginning December 11, 2019, all posts will be available at Thank you for reading Word Slingers!

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.