“Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14 James 4:14Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
American King James Version×, New Living Translation).
Recently I came across a couple of tragic examples of how fleeting life is. On April 20, 2015, Jacqueline Carr, 65, of Cincinnati, was coming home from church when a tree uprooted, landed on her car, and killed her. She left behind an understandably devastated family. The retired teacher is said to have touched countless lives. Even preceding death, Carr was giving somebody else a break by waving them on to go ahead of her; that’s when it happened.
Lori Johnson, a Roswell teacher, was killed in a head-on car crash while driving home after a visit with her grandson in the hospital. Johnson taught sixth grade at Mesa Middle School and dearly loved her grandkids. “She was doing what she would have wanted to do—love her grandkids—and she didn’t make it home,” said her daughter, Audrey Knudsen.
I am reminded of a quote from an unknown author: “As you breathe, another person takes his last breath. So stop complaining and live your life with what you got…make every breath count.” Those are sobering words! One of my favorite pieces of advice for many years has been “Make the most of everyday, because it may be your last.” While none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, we can improve our quality of life by making every day count. So here are three points that can help you have a more fulfilled life.
1. Start with gratitude to God and others.
Did you know that a grateful heart can boost your immune system? In an article by Elizabeth Heubeck entitled “Boost Your Health With a Dose of Gratitude,” she states, “Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system.” You can read more about the awesome benefits of being grateful and your health here. Paul wrote, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 1 Thessalonians 5:18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
American King James Version×, New Living Translation). Since God created you, He knew that gratitude is good for the health of the body; that is why He commanded it.
2. Do acts of kindness
Acts of kindness make you feel good, not to mention the person for whom you did the act of kindness. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:31 Ephesians 4:31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
American King James Version×: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has.” In an article entitled “The 5 Side Effects of Kindness,” David Hamilton writes: “Acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth. Emotional warmth produces the hormone oxytocin in the brain and throughout the body. Of recent interest is its significant role in the cardiovascular system.” This hormone oxytocin also slows down the aging process. Kindness is also contagious; something you can freely spread around. Read more from Hamilton’s article.
3. Laugh a lot!
According to the article Seven Health Benefits of Laughter, laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormone levels, and improves cardiac health. It also boosts T cells in your body, which builds up your immune system, helping you fight off illnesses. It triggers the release of endorphins, which are a natural pain reliever. Doctors have found that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative. So smile, laugh, and live longer!
Don’t take life so seriously. “The person who can bring laughter into a room is indeed blessed” (Bennet Cerf). Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 17:22A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.
American King James Version×states, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 15:15 Proverbs 15:15All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
American King James Version×(NLT) says, “For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” God’s wish for us is to live an abundant, happy life.
So how should we live our daily life? Does God require great sacrifice or huge offerings? No! What God requires of us is in Micah 6:8 Micah 6:8He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
American King James Version×: “O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Peter wrote: “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:10-12 1 Peter 3:10-12 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
American King James Version×).
Jacqueline Carr and Lori Johnson were busy making life count with doing good when they succumbed to an untimely death. Life is but a vapor, so make every day count with gratitude, acts of kindness and laughter, because we are not guaranteed tomorrow!
“Time stops for no one, so make every moment count. Be happy and don’t waste a day being sad, because tomorrow is not promised” (Author unknown).