Vanishing Vapor


In the days following our death, when people are looking at the trail of vapor left behind our lives, what will be the character qualities that created our trail?

In the early morning hours or around dusk in the skies above Nashville, it is a normal site to see multiple crisscrossed vapor trails in every direction. They’re created by jets from Fort Campbell, the home of the 101st Air Assault Division. (Rumor is it might be Taylor Swift’s security team.)

This morning, I counted 5 jets streaking across the sky, going in different directions. The clear, blue yonder was filled with their trails, in varying degrees of visibility, with each jet leaving a solid, bright, white line in its path.

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. —James 4:14 NKJV

Of course, this verse is talking about our life as a whole. In the course of history, we’re only a blip on the radar. But let’s bring this truth into today.

Have you ever noticed when the news reports a death and they interview family, coworkers, church members, etc. to speak of the deceased, you never hear “Well, he was an awesome lawyer,” “He was an amazing plumber,” “He built the coolest houses,” “My network went down and his IT team got us back up in record time.” No, what you hear are things like “He was a good person,” “He was so kind,” “He was a good neighbor,” “He always asked me about my kids and how I was doing.”

In the days following our death, when people are looking at the fading vapor left behind, it will be the character qualities that create the trail. Kindness, gentleness, wisdom, concern, generosity, care, those things. Now there’s a trail to leave, before it vanishes away.

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