The Photo Album of Life

Title: The Photo Album of Life
Category: Devotion
Subject: Life, Purpose of; Memories; Life, Brevity of

The Photo Album of Life

With Vince Hefner, Pastor

First Baptist Church, Cherryville

James 4:14 says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

A photo album is an item that most of us have in our homes. My wife and I were doing some house cleaning a few days ago and found a well hidden and perhaps forgotten family photo album tucked away in the back of a cabinet drawer. We decided it was time to take a break from our cleaning activities and set down and reminisce with photos from the past. I don’t know about you, but looking at pictures from my past opens up a number of emotions.

1. The Best Times in Life

First, an old picture reminds me of a good event from the past. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t want to remember bad times in our lives, much less take a picture of it to remind ourselves of a time in our lives when we had received some bad news.

Can you imagine a photo album dedicated to just the bad times in your life? I can just see a family gathered around this album and saying, “Here is a picture of the time when Uncle Joe got the news that his house had foreclosed! Look at that surprised look on his face as he read the letter, and in the background you can see Aunt Lucy’s feet straight up in the air because she fainted when she heard the news! Aunt Lucy never did take a good picture!” We don’t want to keep pictures of bad events in our lives, but many people hold on to bad news and at the start of each day. They take a mental glance at all the bad news, and leave no room for the good times in their lives. This would be a terrible way to live, but how many people do you know that choose this mental photo album to influence their daily activities? I pray that you are not one of those people! The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:8, “If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”  That is the type of photo album I want in my mind!

2. The Body during Life

The second emotion I experienced when I looked at the pictures of my past was the realization that I am getting older. I know it is hard to believe, but it is true! My mind believes that I am 18 years old, but my body tries to tell me different. I don’t listen to my body all that much, so the outcome of many of my activities are physically painful. Take for example my bicycle. My mind tells me I’m 18 years old and I can ride my bike between 40-50 miles in a few hours. My body tells me that I’m crazy and no man my age should even attempt it. In this conflict, my mind wins and I ride 40-50 miles. However, when I get home, my body, in a weakened state, tells my mind that the ride about killed both the mind and body. My mind agrees, but has a short memory, so the next time I get a chance to ride through Gaston, Cleveland, and Lincoln counties, my mind tells my body, “Hey, you can do it!” When I look at photographs of family and friends from 30 years ago, I tell myself, “Those people have gotten old!” When I see myself in these pictures, reality sets in, and I realize that I am getting older too. The truth hurts.

3. The Brevity of Life

The third emotion I experienced when I looked at the family albums was realizing the brevity of life. Life is fast, and whether you want to accept it or not, time flies. It is hard to believe that I have been married for almost 33 years, I have four adult children, 7 grandchildren and one grandchild on the way. It just seemed like yesterday I was planning my life with my bride, praying about our lives together and wondering how it would all turn out. Now, 33 years later, I am asking, “Why did it turn out like this?”

The good news is life is for the living, and I am grateful for every challenge I have faced, because I know that Jesus has been with me the entire trip. I also know that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. Take some time today and count your blessings, and know that the Creator of all is willing to be by your side, if you allow Him in your heart. Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!