Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Phantom Life

What if I lived to be forgotten? In this age of accomplishments, accolades, achievement, platforms, and posturing, what if I lived as if none of this mattered.

A history professor we know says historians are speculating that 1000 years from now only two Americans will be remembered. The first president, George Washington, and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. Immediately I want to press this list. What about Jefferson? What about...? Only two? How many of us even know much about our great-grandmothers. Can you name them? Or great-great-grandmothers?

Then I think back 1000 years ago. How many names can I name? William the Conqueror comes to mind first, 1066, you know. But who else? Not many others. There may have been 275 million people alive then. There have been a lot of forgotten people.

I say this not to be depressing. I think maybe it is good to know my place in the world. I've been asking myself how knowingly living a forgotten life might change how I live each day. This is what I am musing on today.
LORD, make me know my end...let me  know how transient I am. Behold, Thou hast made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Thy sight, surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Surely every man walks about as a phantom...
And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee.     - Psalm 39:4-7

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