February 13, 2009
by Charles R. Swindoll
Life is so short. We really don't have many years. And to spend them doing dumb stuff seems like such a waste.
I was intrigued several years ago when reading about some ghost towns littered across the plains of Nevada. The writer pointed out that there was every indication between the middle and the end of the 1800s that these towns would flourish forever. There were people by the thousands. There was gold in abundance. There were new buildings, vast plans, a spirit of excitement. There was wild and woolly entertainment at every corner---houses and hotels, brothels and taverns, mines and money. The Gold Rush looked as if it would last forever. But suddenly everything screeched to a halt. Almost overnight those bustling, loud population centers became vacant dust collectors. The sound of the cash register ceased.
Today, except for a handful of eccentric desert dwellers, the stores and streets are empty. Those windswept ghost towns are now silent, hollow shells along forgotten sandy roads. Whatever happened to the boomtowns of Nevada?
What often looks as if it is here to stay and make a perpetual impact can be frighteningly temporary. When God says, "That's it; that's curtains," it's only a matter of time. It is the perspective in all of this that holds us together. Our God is in complete control. He lets nothing out of His grip. He starts one and stops another. He pushes one ahead and holds another back.
Yet our Lord is not some tyrannical God who stomps across heaven like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, swinging a club and waiting to give us a smashing blow to the head. No. Rather, it is as if He says to us, "You're Mine and I want you to walk in step with Me. I've arranged a plan so that walking with Me will result in a righteous lifestyle. If you make a decision not to walk with Me, I've also arranged consequences that will happen and you must live with them."
Yes, life is short. Yes, our sins are obvious; no one can deny that. But instead of thinking of these days as just about as futile as emptying wastebaskets, see the significance of them in light of God's plan. Ask Him to help you view each day as He looks at it. He has a way of balancing out the good with the bad.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.