"Life happens fast!"

Watch closely. Pay attention. Slow down. Take time. Life comes at us full force from the first breath and does not slow down until the last. There is no time to waste.

Scripture calls it "a vapor" (James 4:13-14).

Paul said, "Make the most of every opportunity" (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Jesus offers in "abundance" (John 10:10).

How many reminders do we need for us to get the message? "Life happens fast!"

Pull out your box of photos, or photo album, or pull up your photos on your computer and you will be amazed how quickly life has happened. "Where did that little girl go?" "How did he grow up so fast?" "Wow! He looks old!"

Watch the news. Another horrific tornado where lives were lost and property was destroyed in seconds. A plane goes down. An automobile accident on the Interstate. A shooting in the city. A murder in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods. A heart attack took the life of a young husband and father.

"Life happens fast!" It comes so quickly that about the time we get comfortable in one phase of life, we move into a different phase. We start feeling good being single, and suddenly we are talking marriage. Then, we work and work at being the best husband or the best wife, and then here comes children. We feel like we get the parenting thing figured out, then we are empty nesters and before long we are grandparents.

With life coming (and going) so quickly, how do we manage it? Here are a few things to remember.

We do not have to miss it.
Live today, not tomorrow or yesterday. Spend too much time looking ahead or behind and you will miss what is happening in the present. Jesus said, "Take no thought in tomorrow." Paul said, "Forgetting what is behind I press on."

Slow down. Try to eliminate hurry from your life. If you have small children try not to say, "Hurry up!" too many times. When you get on the freeway, drive the speed limit. When you are walking if you see something worth looking at, stop and look at it. Remind yourself that you have all the time you need to do what God wants us to do.

Enjoy the moment. When you work, work hard. When you rest, rest. When you are with friends, shut your phone off and be with your friends. When you are with your spouse, really be with her. When you are with your children, be with them.

"Life happens fast!" Yet it does not have to overwhelm us. We do not have to miss it. We can enjoy it. God has given us life and life abundantly. We have the tools to live it at His pace and in His time and like He wants us to.

This week I hope you can receive the life God has planned for you and enjoy it to the fullest and not just at its fastest!