The Brevity of Life

Some weeks, as I sit at the computer to write a post for my blog, the concept comes together quickly, and words flow through my fingers. Other times, I watch a flashing cursor and white screen until an idea finally gels.

This week was different. I started a post, had a full outline, knew where I was going with it, and then, this morning my thoughts shifted to the brevity of life. The death of a writing friend, a family member, a fellow choir member, a friend’s serious illness, and the senseless killings of children and adults in Nashville combined to change my focus.

Most of us don’t like to talk about, or face, the concept of life’s brevity. We’re troubled when those die at a time we consider too soon. Questions bombard our minds, which are too finite to understand the whys of God’s timing. Acknowledging mortality, and our inability to control it, is something many run from, yet the briefness of life is reality.

The focus of this post is not intended to be negative or fear-producing, but rather an encouragement to recognize and grasp the need to live life fully now.

Speak Encouragement and Affirmation

Often, we’re so lost in thought about what we need to accomplish each day, we fail to speak genuinely and kindly to others. If you see someone who looks lovely, tell her, even if you don’t know her. If someone extends a kindness, like holding a door open for you, say “thank you,” and then do the same for another person.

Take time to encourage those who are dealing with difficulty or exhausted by a current burden. Remind them hard life seasons dissipate with time and this hardship won’t last forever. Affirm and celebrate the accomplishments of others.

Don’t miss opportunities to encourage and affirm because once the moment is gone it can’t be recouped.

Enjoy Today

Many spend their lives striving for accolades or wealth accumulation. In doing so, they often miss current beauty and joy. “Doing” becomes more important to them than relationships, and accomplishment becomes the sole goal.

Sometimes, we spend too much time looking ahead and fail to enjoy right now. Yes, forward motion is important, but savoring the joys of today is part of what kindles the desire to move forward to the joys of tomorrow.


Right now, outside my office window, the white clusters of azalea bushes against the verdant grass and the gentle sway of greening leaves give me joy. Nature is always a source of refreshment for me.

Find what gives you joy today and bask in it.

Acknowledge Blessings

Is your life overflowing with blessings? Often, we’re so focused on problems and riddled with fear of what might happen, we forget our blessings. Perhaps you need a perspective adjustment. Begin a mental or written list of all the ways you are blessed. You’ll be surprised how the list grows as your focus shifts.

Praise God for his love and blessings, realizing He orders and numbers our days and the days of those we love.

Stay Spiritually Strong

Spiritual strength increases in times of hardship. You probably don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. When we go through difficulty that we feel we can’t face, God is right there walking with us, even carrying us when we are too weak to take another step.

Spiritual strength involves belief, trust, and learning and clinging to spiritual truths.

Life is short, but don’t let the fear of life’s end sidetrack you from living life fully, making sure you know the path to, and hope of, eternity.

“Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air]” (James 4:14 AMP).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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