Vapors All


Psalm 39:5: “Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah”

     I think it was a lot easier for men 1,000 or 5,000 years ago to understand this. Not all did of course, I’m only saying I think it was easier to. Whatever else it was like to live in the ancient world, I’m relatively certain that things were not so easily egocentric. It must have been easier for people to see themselves as mere parts of life rather than the center of it before everyone had a trophy on their shelf for even the most minor goal. No one had a Facebook page back then. Mankind was not universally tapped into the same news stories electronically at the touch of a button, thus feeling served and informed. It was extremely rare for one’s name to be on a tablet, a wall or a pylon; now most people’s avatars bear their name and photo to hundreds. We live in a world where the opinions of, “Countrygirlrockssteady112” has an opinion on any matter seemingly just as valid as anyone else’s which she can present with zero accountability to potentially 100,000 people at the push of a button. That changes us! 

     It’s impossible for me to imagine a man or woman we deem a “superstar” today ever seeing themselves as a vapor. Such esteem themselves far too much I’m sure. We have helped them to. It was easier to see oneself as minor next to God before we sailed off into the uncharted void of space and saw our planet a tiny bit from His vantage, but we are still, as the verse says, “At our best” but a vapor. We have built egos bigger than the cathedrals of old, but even we know it’s just a show. I believe it was Artistotle who said, “The secret to happiness is figuring out who other people think you are and trying to be that.” This perhaps defines 21st century life. 

     Nonetheless, in any age, this verse does not lose its meaning. Men are so very tiny next to God. The very greatest of men will quickly come and go. No matter the size of their impact they’re here today and gone tomorrow. Friends, from ashes we came and to ashes we will all return. I’m almost 36 years old. My life is about half over. Wow. 

     There is something very valuable in seeing oneself next to God. I invite you to go and read Isaiah chapter forty and ask God to help you gauge yourself next to Him. Ask yourself what sort of a Being could create this universe? How can anything make a sun? There’s something very valuable in standing under a waterfall or at the foot of a mountain range and feeling your weakness. We are so tiny next to the Creator. We see this sometimes in His creation. We are but a vapor. God is eternal. He has made us as such. Do not let the “things” we enjoy in life remind you that at the end of the day, all you are is you. Don’t forget that you can take none of your “stuff” with you. Remember that your titles will die with you. You are a vapor at best. Your age is “nothing” before God. Selah (which means pause and think on that).

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