Now, lest you think me crass for my title of this post, let me assure you that I am simply paraphrasing a verse from the Bible. As James 4:14 reminds us, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor [gas] that appears for a little time and then vanishes [passes] away” [emphases mine]. And it is the literal truth, folks.
Indeed, as a minister I once preached a message with this title and incorporated some special effects. No, not any noise makers. I simply had the ushers cut off the lights and I lit a match, letting it burn briefly before blowing it out. And then I added, that represents your life, so how are you going to live? In the vast span of eternity, our lives are very brief indeed. But that is what gives them such value. Thus, it matters how we live.
Yet in addition to life being priceless, another interpretation of “gas” means fun. While life is not necessarily meant to be a joy ride from start to finish, we are intended to enjoy it nonetheless. I even submit that if you are not experiencing joy on your journey then you might be taking it too seriously. If so, try to mix a little fun into your days. As George Carlin reputedly said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”
Regular readers are by now well aware of my affinity for quotes and I could not resist sharing a couple more given the flame theme of this post as pictured above. It was George Bernard Shaw who stated, “I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I’ve got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
And last but by no means least, here is one of my all-time favorite quotes, and by yet another George, by George, one George MacDonald: “When I no more can stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; when I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire—awake in me…boundless desire.” Here is to life!