day nine: be here


“Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” (Psalm 144:4)

“He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.” (Psalm 78:39)

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

Moral of the story: Life is short. Our days our numbered.

I often get caught up in the temporary things. Today I had a set list of things that I needed to accomplish before I head home tomorrow, but other things arose. And while it’s tempting to think of my to-do list as the most important action, life is not about checking items off a list. Life is about the unexpected. Life is about people. Simply put, life is all about living.


In the same way, I tend to get so future-oriented that I forget about the present. James warned his readers about planning too far in advance in chapter 4. While it is important to make wise decisions that will impact our future, we should live our life in the present.

This whole week I have been so focused on Fall Break. I am so ready to go home, see my family, sleep in my own room, talk with old friends, and eat real food. Yet at times that mindset led me to lose sight of the fact that I am still here, at college, with people I can influence. I am learning to be present where I am and to live in the moment. Because if I am so set on the future, I will miss the moments right here.

Like taking time to eat a leisurely lunch outside, soaking in the sunshine, with my roommate. Or walking through Colonial Williamsburg on a beautiful Autumn afternoon to buy souvenir mugs. Or spending time talking and laughing with my RA. Or staying up a little later to connect with two international students and make tea for some girls on my hall.

So as James asks, ponder to yourself: What is your life? Are you living a full and purposeful life? Or are you slaving away, turning a little more quickly into dust that you will become?

– – Phebe

PC: 1) my own; 2) Life Magazine’s motto-


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