I’ve always been fascinated by that verse in the book of James that says our lives pass like a vapor. That’s a realization hard to internalize. I believe life is eternal, but I don’t believe we have a whole lot of time in this phase, the walk around on earth phase. I wish I could spend less time feeling the urgency of things that aren’t actually urgent and more time exchanging meaning with those people and causes that matter.
The Bible also speaks of the wisdom of numbering our days.
I recently attended a beautiful wedding.
What I love about weddings and funerals is they remind us, in very different ways, about how short our lives really are. A funeral teaches us it ends. A wedding teaches us that in order to experience meaning, we have to make decisions. We can’t keep looking at the menu forever, nor can we eat everything on it at once.
I found this video a couple years back that helped me realize how short our lives actually are.
I wanted to share it with you.
It’s a film made by Jeroen Wolf, who took to the streets of Amsterdam and asked people to look into the camera and state their age. It begins with a baby and ends with a woman in her hundredth year.
It’s only two minutes long, but the amazing thing is it feels just like life. It starts slow as though we are going to walk the earth forever, then suddenly at around twenty-seven, the voices change and the faces are suddenly adult.
Then suddenly everybody seems old.
Then they suddenly seem even older, then as though they are in their final years, then it’s over.
The scary thing is life feels very long and by the time you realize it’s short, you’ve lived most of it.
After watching this two-minute clip, I wanted to live a life of deeper meaning.
I wanted to do the work I love.
The work that helps people. I wanted to give more away. I wanted to hold the woman I love. I wanted to read more poems. I wanted to plant something that would grow after I was gone. I didn’t want my name on anything, at least not anything that didn’t represent love.
What would you do if you only had one-hundred years to live?