This question asked by James has been an object of my contemplations for some time now aggravated by the news of the passing on to glory of a dearly beloved friend. This question defers from the existential question – What is life.
My brother James in asking that question is seeking to compel his readers to not think of life as an abstract entity but rather, think about it in the context of their actual reality. For he goes on to give a perspective, that if personally applied has the potential to alter our perceptions and define our pursuits.
He says “it is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”.
This is a powerful submission. He was saying that for whatever a man thinks life to be at large, be it- spiritually, philosophically, intellectually, psychologically and so on and so forth, when it comes down to the matter of what his life is, he must clearly know this- his life in terms of its innate character and similitude is a vapor.
There are no guarantees inherent in the living of life. The next hour is not guaranteed, neither is any other futuristic time, after a while, a man’s life vanishes away and it is gone for good.
Only in the death of another do we truly come face to face with this truth. We lose a loved one, and we suddenly realize especially if they are young, or as it were coming into their own, that it didn’t occur to us that they actually can die, we seem to think, almost as a matter of surety, that man will live- almost for ever or at least till old age. Ah, but James says there are no such guarantees inherent in the nature of life. That guarantee is solely in the hands of Him who is the described as the author of life.
If this is so, what then ought to be our response. We’d consider that in the next discussion. See you next time.