"for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away." Psalm 37:2
This scripture is all about perspective. You'll hear it over and over these next 40+ days. After reading about the need not to fret those who do evil or be envious of those who do wrong, David immediately gives us perspective on why it doesn't matter what people do here on Earth to get ahead. This verse translated in today's language would read, "No matter what you do, big, small, ordinary or extraordinary, some day YOU WILL DIE".
I don't know about you, but I for some reason try not to believe this truth. You see...I have a terrible habit of fear. Besides fearing things like failure, my job situation, my money situation, my family's health, where I'm going to live in the future and what's going to happen to the United States, my biggest fear is that one day I MUST die. Talk about being a hypocrite, I claim to know and trust Jesus, and yet I don't believe His word that "to live is Christ and to die is GAIN".
But something in this Scripture really sticks out to me. it's those three little words in the middle of it. The "Like green plants" line before he says "they'll all die away". (No, this isn't the part where I make a joke about buying a hybrid or eating organic.) When I think of green plants, I think of words like healthy, thriving, lush, beautiful, perfection, well taken care of and of course photosynthesis and chlorophyl (doesn't everybody think of those last two?). In today's world the equivalent of green plants are the CEO's, the Athletes and Entertainers, the thrill seekers and those who live on the Ocean somewhere. It's the guy with the cars and the women, and the woman with the diamonds that is constantly found at the "Spa". It's those who have it "all" in what I'll call "Satan's Kingdom". But David quickly reminds us that no matter what you do to get ahead, no matter what people have in this life, it is always fleeting. No matter how green the plants get, or how much money you have, one day you and they are going to die. Plain and Simple.
So what does that mean to us? How do we respond to the simple fact that we are going to die? We respond by losing all fear that if we die, we will lose out on making the most out of this life. Isn't that what we're scared of anyway. That we'll never finish our "bucket list". That we never got to go on the vacation "we had" to go on, or never bought the "dream house", or never got the "position" we dreamed of. Sure, all of these things are fun and are gifts from God, but if we don't do them, do we really need to fret? I mean, if God is as great as He says, then isn't being in His presence when we die, way better than the best trip or house we could ever imagine?
Once again it's the big picture that David is after. When we realize that we're going to die, we are then able to take Paul's words to heart in 2 Corinthians 4:18 "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal." When our life is about realizing that we are here for God, and not the other way around, we change our focus on to becoming more like Him in the way we love and live, the way we feel compassion, the way we define needs versus wants, and the way we let go of the fleeting things of this world.
What are you doing today that you think you can't "live without"? Or what eternal thing are you missing out on, because you are chasing a temporary high right now? I challenge you all today, to recognize your own mortality. To figure out those things in life which are eternal and pursue them. It's the best investment you will ever make. I have God's personal guarantee!