Life is Short

Psalm 39:5a
"You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
       the span of my years is as nothing before you..."

The memory that jumps immediately to my mind hails back to when I was just a boy.  I remember being with my Dad on different occasions when he would want to measure something but didn't have a tape measure or a ruler.  He would simply take his hand and put his thumb down firmly on one end of what he was trying to measure and stretch his hand until his pinky was almost flat against the surface in the direction he was measuring.  If it took more than one handwidth, he would plant his pinky and then bring his thumb up underneath - put it where the pinky was and start over.  He was surprisingly accurate with this type of measuring within an inch or two and he had become very adept at the hand movement so that he could quickly space off measurements up to 3 or 4 feet.

Experts tell us that the average span of a grown man's hand from the thumb to the end of their pinky finger is about 8 to 9 inches.

And the Psalmist here talks about our lives in terms of a mere handbreadth.  I thought about that today - pictured my Dad's hand spread out across a table top or some other item that he was measuring - and realized that my life would be somewhere around the middle finger, halfway across that first span.  It really does rattle your perspective a little.

So I'm half done. It got me thinking about what I've accomplished so far...and what I had thought I might have accomplished by now...and then even more sobering, what I hope to accomplish in my lifetime.  Time is fleeting.

But even more than that, it got me thinking about the kind of person I would like to be.  About the kind of Christ follower I would like to become.  And it made me realize that I'm not there yet - and it's at least half over.

I've got some accomplishing to do...but more importantly, I have some becoming to do.

What about you?


Popular Posts