Sunday, March 1, 2009

Here today, gone tomorrow

With the emphasis on beauty we find in our culture, you'd think it was something we'd keep forever. We spend untold billions of dollars on tucks and "tox," lotions and potions, all designed to make ourselves look far younger and better than we really are. You'd think that sooner or later we'd all simply stand back and ask the question, "what's the point?" So why don't we?

For the past week Betty and I have been in Jacksonville for my 6-month check-up following proton therapy for prostate cancer. The numbers are doing exactly what they are supposed to, going down, down, down, so we feel very blessed! It was wonderful to connect with friends we got to know this summer. In fact, many of us drew so close during our time "going to war" together, that 15 couples of us scheduled our 6-month checkup during the same week so we could all hang out together. It's been a lot of fun, and everybody seems to be doing quite well.

Yesterday, Betty and I drove over to Gainesville (home of the U of Florida) to see a butterfly exhibit they have at the Florida Historical Museum on campus. It was really spectacular, getting to walk among hundreds of butterflies, some of which landed on B. They were incredibly beautiful, but get this: inside a perfectly controlled environment, the bulk of them live only 3 weeks. If they were outside in their "normal" environments, they'd only last 7-10 days! What you see in the pictures here is just two of tens of thousands of species. In fact the beautiful ones in the first photo are all like the one with the blue back; the rest just have their wings closed. All that beauty, yet only to be enjoyed for a moment! Wonder if they get stressed about that?

Seeing these gorgeous creatures, taking in their stunning beauty and learning of their short time on earth, while at the same time remembering why were were in Jacksonville, brought to mind how important it is to make the days we have on this earth count for something significant for the Lord. Who in the world knows how many days we will have?

Fussing over beauty ultimately is a losing battle, something that really won't benefit anyone. Indeed, gravity and wrinkles win! Doesn't it just make more sense to give ourselves to living lives that will be a blessing to the Lord? Surely that will pay eternal dividends, not to mention being far less stressful!

May you be blessed this day,