“I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapour in the wind…”
– Phillips, Craig and David (A contemporary christian music group.)

On Thursday I heard someone speak of his plan for next week. It was a naughty plan and the person said it with such confidence and assurance that I felt he was getting something wrong. His statement struck me so hard that I couldn’t help but ponder on the uncertainty and ephemerality of life.

Allow me to share my quick thought on this subject with you. My people (the Yoruba tribe of southern Nigeria) refer to life as an infinitesimal experience, they call it “aye bintin.” I am sure that the wisest man that ever lived didn’t jump into an hasty conclusion when he declared that it is vanity upon vanity!

As a practising Christian I live in the consciousness of James 4: 13-14,
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will [do this or that].
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (NIV).
The KJV in rendering verse 14 says you are just a vapour that vanishes!

As a keen observer I have found out that many who profess christianity do not even know what their faith is all about, tell him/her that he/she may not see tomorrow and his/her “robotic” reply is likely to be – the word of God says I shall not die but live! True, and God still says HE can call you home any day, so the rule is to live prepared “for you know not when your Lord shall come.” This “beloved” people forget that the rich man in the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21 got the appellation of a fool because he planned for tomorrow like he owned the breath in his nostrils.

Don’t get me wrong, God is not against planning for the future. How can He be when He does the same? He planned the salvation of man several years before Christ came. All that God expects of us as we make future projections is that we acknowledge Him in our plans, hence James the Apostle says in his epistle (James 4:15) that when planning say “if it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

After the long thought, I said within myself, “Next week is such a long time and no one knows what will happen.” Its not that I wish the person evil, its just that I was surprised someone could make that kind of statement with a high level of certainty. My people would have simply said “a o mole ti o mo lola” (no one knows what the next dawn will bring along.) The next day, Friday, the person was down with sickness (may God grant him quick recovery).

If I have not been able to clearly pass my message across, the summary of it all is this – always remember that you are just a vanishing vapour!

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