Would it be better to win a silver medal or a bronze?
In 1995, psychologists from Cornell University studied the reaction of Olympic silver and bronze medalists.
They found that bronze medalists were significantly happier with their achievement than silver medalists.
The reason is that silver medalists compared themselves with those who won gold, while the bronze medalists were happy to have any medals at all.
We see the importance of our perspective in life.
In Psalm 39, David is desperately trying to find the right perspective in life.
First, David realizes life is short.
He says in verses 4-5:
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
In ancient Israel the smallest measurement available was the width of four fingers.
He then shifts the image to compare life to a breath, or vapor.
He describes how the pursuit of wealth and brevity of life are meaningless.
He says in verse 6:
“We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.”
The pursuits that this world offers us in life are relatively insignificant in view of the short time we live here on earth.
Life is way too short for us as believers to waste it on only what this world offers.
The tragic, sudden deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with three members of the Altobelli family and four others demonstrates how fragile life is.
No one is guaranteed tomorrow.
David realizes what matters most is his relationship to the Lord.
He says in verse 7:
“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”
This is the perspective we are to have as believers.
Since life is so short, our pursuit of Christ is to be our number one priority in this life.
Paul put it this way is Philippians 3:10:
“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power out-flowing from His resurrection” (Amplified Bible).
A canny Main farmer was approached by a stranger one day and asked how much he thought his prize Jersey cow was worth.
The farmer thought for a moment, looked the stranger over, then said: “Are you the tax assessor, or has she been killed by your car?”
Perspective is important! May we have the proper perspective in life by pursuing Christ.
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries