Warning Labels

 In these days of frivolous and outlandish lawsuits,  manufacturers have to include many warning labels to protect themselves. You’ve probably noticed drug and medicine ads on television in when they list all the possible side affects.  It sounds like it may not be worth the risk. It seems there is no limit to the ridiculous things for which people will sue and often even win a large settlement. Take Mrs. Grazinski, for example. “She purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home from a football game, having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway and overturned. She sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. A jury awarded her $1,750,000!  Winnebago changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home!” (Kalispell Kaleidoscope, May, 2013).

     As a result of sue-happy, greedy people, we live in a society that’s overrun with warning labels. From disclaimers on pill bottles, to “use-by dates” on potato chips, to warnings on lawn mowers not to use them as hedge trimmers, warning labels draw our attention to impending hazards or side affects. One warning label that often appears on packages sent through the mail, is FRAGILE: HANDLE WITH CARE.  As you think about life and its fragility, I guess we should all wear one of those red stickers, for our lives are very fragile. The Psalmist understood that when he wrote: “For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; and its place acknowledges it no longer” (Psa. 103:14-16).
     It’s not a good idea to cruise through life thinking that we are invincible. No one is. It takes only a call from the doctor telling us that we have a life-threatening disease, or the swerve of a careless or drunken driver on the highway to remind us that life is extremely uncertain. There are no guarantees for tomorrow for any one of us. None of us can be certain even of another breath. When we came back to Montana to join Rocky Mountain Bible Mission in 1974, we met another young couple that was eager to serve the Lord. He was working in the USFS, but shortly left his job and they also joined RMBM. He was assigned to a church at Hot Springs, Montana where he served for one year, had one funeral, and one wedding. Then as he and his wife were traveling to Seattle for a wedding they were involved in an accident in which he was killed. No matter our age or our seemingly robust health, life is fragile and uncertain.
      Moses, who wrote Psalm 90 gave us some good advice–a warning label if you will–saying: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom” (Psa. 90:12). And the Apostle Paul gave us this admonition: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15).  James, in his epistle, wrote a similar challenge: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that'” (Jas. 4:13-15).  It is not wrong to plan for the future, because we may be here yet for many years, but it is also appropriate to always say, “Lord willing, this is what we will do,” for you don’t know but what today may be your last one here on earth. Only God knows what our “appointed” time is (Heb. 9:27). That’s why it is so important to focus on the things that will last eternally–God, His Word, and the souls of people. Everything else is temporary. Paul wrote: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal”
(II Cor. 4:18).
     So, with that in mind, let’s choose to live as though this were our last moment on earth by loving more unconditionally, forgiving more readily, giving more sacrificially and generously, sharing Christ more boldly, and  speaking more kindly.  That’s how we can “Handle Life With Care.” 
 
                                                                                                   Forever His,
                                                                                                           Pastor Dave
 
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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