We’ve all seen the stamp on the box: Fragile: Handle With Care. It’s a warning that the contents of the box can easily be broken and you need to be careful.
I remember sitting on an airplane several years ago, watching out of the window as they were loading the last suitcases into the cargo hold. At that exact moment one of the baggage handlers took a suitcase by the handle, swung it 180 degrees and launched it through the air and onto the conveyor.
Guess whose suitcase it was. Yep, mine. I’m sure that he was unaware that the owner of that suitcase was sitting thirty feet directly above him watching his every move. Or maybe he just didn’t care.
I think that all suitcases should be marked with a Fragile: Handle With Care sticker before they are turned over to the baggage handlers!
In quick defense of baggage handlers everywhere – I’ve also witnesses hundreds of suitcases being transferred from the baggage cart to the conveyor with great care.
Those guys don’t get enough credit.
Here’s what’s true (with apology to Forrest Gump): Life is like a suitcase.
Picture yourself as a suitcase on the baggage cart of life. Only this time you are also the baggage handler. Are you handling your suitcase carefully or are you slinging it around by its handles?
The Bible gives us some fascinating descriptions of life including a shadow (Job 8:9), a vapor (James 4:14), a fast runner (Job 9:25), a fading flower (Job 14:2), the wind (Psalm 78:39, Isaiah 64:6) and the wild grass in the field (Psalm 103:15, Isaiah 40:6, 1 Peter 1:24).
What all of these descriptions have in common is brevity. They are here one minute and gone the next. That’s life.
The biblical writer James makes this exact point when he says, What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (James 4:14).
In the greater scheme of the universe you’re only here for a moment. Not even enough time to appear as a blimp on the radar screen.
Which means you have to be careful how you handle your life. You haven’t got much time to make the maximum impact. In fact, you don’t have much time to make any kind of significant impact.
The strange thing is that it only takes a blink in time to make a negative impact with your life, but it often takes a lifetime to make a positive impact. But that’s a discussion for another day.
The point that I want to make today is that life is fragile because life is short. You need to handle your life with care. Everyone should be born with a sticker that says Fragile: Handle With Care.
What kind of impact are you making with your life? Who have you influenced today? What kind of influence did you leave behind? Whose life will you touch tomorrow?
As a pastor I’ve conducted a lot of funerals. There has been a trend lately to have an open mic at funerals and allow everyone an opportunity to say how their life was touched by the deceased. The saddest funerals are those where few people speak.
Live your life so when it comes time for people to speak at your funeral the line will be long.
Stay in the Word