Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Fleeting Years

By Alan Smith

    I read two humorous stories lately with a similar theme:
    A 5-five-year-old boy was discussing with his father some of the differences between their childhoods. The father pointed out that when he was young, he didn't have things such as Nintendo, cellphones, computers or digital cameras.
    He realized just how huge the generation gap was when his son asked him, "Did you have fruit?"
    A 12-year-old girl asked her mother, "Mom, do you have a baby picture of yourself? I need it for a school project." Her mother gave her one without thinking to ask what the project was.
    A few days later she was in the classroom for a parent-teacher meeting when she noticed her face pinned to a mural the students had created. The title of their project was "The oldest thing in my house."
    I am always amazed at how young people view those who are older. I can remember when I was in my early 20's (35 years ago!) thinking of a couple at church as being very old, almost ancient. That couple is in their 80's today, which means that 35 years ago.......they were a lot younger than I am now! I can't help but wonder, is that how young people view me? Do they think that I am very old, almost ancient? Needless to say, my perspective of what constitutes "really old" has changed through the years.
    I'm also amazed at how our perspective on the passing of time changes as we get older. Looking ahead as a young man, it seemed as if being in my 50's was an eternity away. Now, looking back, it doesn't seem that long ago that I was in my 20's. How quickly the time has gone! And every year seems to pass with even more speed.
    Peter was so right when he said, “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away..." (I Peter 1:24). Job put it this way: "We grow up like flowers and then dry up and die. We are like a passing shadow that does not last." (Job 14:2, NCV).
    The glories of this life are indeed fading and before we know it, they will be gone. Which would be depressing if it were not for the realization that those who are in Christ have an inheritance waiting for us "that does not fade away" (I Peter 1:4). 
    So, while you are on this earth, make good use of your time (as short as it may be). It will be gone before you know it. But make sure you live your life in a way that gives you something to look forward to when this life is over.
    Have a great day! (especially you "really old" people in your 80's!)  :)

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Cruciform Church of Christ in Spring Lake, North Carolina, may be contacted at or through the congregation's website:

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