Story of the Day for Friday June 22, 2012
Live Between Steps
You have swept them away in the sleep of death; they are like new grass that springs up in the morning – though in the morning it springs up fresh, by evening it’s dry and withered.
A study revealed that most people don’t see themselves as “living” so much as waiting to live. They’re waiting until graduation, waiting until they get married. They’re waiting until they get the big promotion, waiting until they can retire. And then, they imagine, they can really start living. . . until they must wait in a nursing home to die.
This psalm helps us see the brevity of our life in this world. It speaks of our lives as grass – which springs up in the morning, and is dry and withered by evening.
Is this a depressing thought? Well, it shouldn’t be. Instead, it should remind us that we don’t have a moment to waste living without the compassion of God. “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
When we have learned to number our days, we will have learned to fill each day with meaning because it is filled with the unfailing love of God.
One December, a university professor was invited to speak at a military base. A soldier met the professor at the airport.
As they walked down the concourse to the baggage claim, the soldier kept meandering off: once to help an elderly woman with her suitcase, then to lift two toddlers up so they could see Santa Claus, and once again to help a person with directions.
“Where did you learn that?” the professor asked.
“Where did you learn to live like that?”
“Oh,” the soldier said, “during the war, I guess.” He told the professor that his duty in Vietnam was to clear minefields. It was a dangerous job, and he watched as, one after another, his buddies were blown up by exploding mines.
He never knew whether his next step would be his last. “I learned,” he said, “to live between steps.”
Bob Franke wrote a song, “Thanksgiving Eve,” which echoes the meaning of Psalm 90. The chorus is:
What can you do with your days but work and hope
Let your dreams bind your work to your play
What can you do with each moment of your life
But love til you’ve loved it away