Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.

It was on a hot summer day, in 1971, where two care-free 8 year old girls, one with blonde hair, the other brown, were running, playing, laughing, and doing what 8 year old girls do, in the basement of the brown hair girl’s home.

As they were playing, they found an abandoned freezer that opened from the top. They thought it would be fun to make that freezer their own little hideaway. So they climbed in and giggled and laughed and told scary stories and told each other who they thought the cutest boy in school was. It was their own little world where no one else knew where they were.

When they had had enough of the dark, and when it began to get a little warm and stuffy, they decided it was time to get out, but when they tried, the latch had shut and these two little care-free girls were trapped in an airtight freezer with very little oxygen left.

They screamed and yelled and screamed and yelled…and when they began to get weak…they prayed and sang Sunday school songs and then prayed some more.

The little blonde girl had asthma, and she was struggling breathing and she began to pass out, so the little brown haired girl would sing and pray louder while she was pushing her back as hard as her little 8 year old body could push against the top of the freezer, trying to get precious air for her best friend.

The blonde girl’s asthma overcame her and she passed out, while the brown haired girl would pass out and then wake up and start to pray and sing again. And then she would pass out once again.
Meanwhile, the brown haired girl’s mother, who had been frantically searching for them with no luck, heard an audible voice from God saying, “Go to the basement!”

So she did. She heard the cry of her daughter and lifted the freezer door to find her beautiful dark haired girl barely breathing, while the little blonde girl was not breathing at all.

They could not revive the little blonde girl, but the little brown haired girl lived. It is a day she will remember the rest of her life. She will never forget her best friend with the beautiful blonde hair. “Safe with Jesus” was the theme of her funeral.

She does not know why God wanted her blonde haired friend to come home to Him so early. She doesn’t know why God wanted her to stay. But she does know this. Every day is a gift from God to be lived fully.

You see, that little brown haired girl is my wife.

There is a prayer in the Bible by Moses that says, “Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.”

Here are some ideas to live wisely:

Stop and thank God, right now, for the gift of life.

Call, text or email someone who has positively impacted your life and tell them how they have blessed you.

Forgive someone who has hurt you.

Smile, laugh, sing…in front of a mirror.

Breathe deep.

Tell your kids how awesome they are! (Even when they drive you crazy.)

Listen to a song that brings back great memories and dance.

Turn off the T.V. and computers and play cards or board games with friends and family.

Pray for those around you and around the world who are less fortunate.

Look for someone during the day to compliment and encourage.

Serve at a local food giveaway.

Go on a mission’s trip to a place that is different culturally than where you live.


Eat a bowl of ice cream without feeling guilty.

Invite someone over for dinner who never gets invited anywhere.

Take a cooking class.

Visit a nursing home.
Tell someone, “Jesus loves you.”

Do something that is hard, not putting it off until tomorrow.

Sponsor a child through “Compassion International”

Be a father or mother figure to those who need a positive parental example.

Stand up against injustice.

Wake up every day praying the prayer of Moses, “Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.”

These are just a few ideas, but you get the idea.

Never take a day for granted. Live fully. Live passionately.

Don’t let a day go by without telling those who are close to you how special they are.

Don’t let a day go by without telling God how thankful you are for His Grace.

I think often about how that brown haired little girl has been the greatest gift of my life, and 27 years later I thank God for speaking to her mother about the basement, and my wife looks forward to the day where she will meet her blonde haired friend once again, this time, serving and laughing and celebrating for eternity.

21 thoughts on “Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.

  1. Reading this through tears! I too, am so thankful for that little brown haired girl & that God would allow her to grow up & become my sister. Ken, I love your blog. Every post is so powerful & thought provoking.

  2. WOW! That was so powerful and the truest words spoken. Things don’t mean a thing. Thank you for putting that into perspective. Family and friends are so important, and unfortunatly so often taken for granted. These blogs have touched our hearts in such a personal way. really convicts us to be more aware of people and how valuable they are, because before long they won’t be with us any longer. just a side note, You are really make it hard to keep eye makeup on!

  3. Ken,
    Thank you, so much. This just made my day, knowing that what I’m doing is worth it. I pray for you, your wife, and your family, may you all be in good health. You are a shinning light to so many and I look up to you quite a bit. So thank you for being Gods blessing to me.
    Your wife’s story truly touched my heart.
    With love, M.

    • Thanks for investing your life to young men and women who need positive role models. Thank you for teaching them that they are valuable, created in God’s image, and made to change our world. It is a gift to have you as part of our team.

  4. My involuntary response was to whisper “Sweet Jesus”. Thank you for sharing Him, bringing me to bended knee, deepening my dependence on Him. I’m blown away the fact that God shows us up close and personal that He’s able to do far beyond all that we ask or even can imagine!! No limits on God, I witness Him daily with a thankful heart!

  5. I asked you not to make me cry again! 🙂 This was a great reminder to spend quality time with my family, to truly be present, so Jordyn and I had coffee (and juice) on our patio…because I don’t know how many minutes I have with her.

  6. Thanks a whole heap Ken. You know it’s expected that a lady would cry through this blog, but I’m supposed to be a manly man and show no emotion. Not a chance, I bawled like a baby. You are so right when you say time is precious with your loved ones. Like you, I have felt the loss of someone (my late wife Jill) way before it was “supposed” to happen. When something like that rocks your life, you suddenly recognize the value of time with those you care about. It truly is a precious commodity that can never be bought or sold on the New York Stock Exchange. Can you imagine that….”Shares of ‘Time’ are currently trading at $25.00 per hour…………” No, we cannot buy or sell shares of “time”, we have to make them ourselves by putting a priority on them and protecting them for all that we are worth. Thanks for sharing, it is refreshing to read your blog…..

    • Very well said. Time is given to us every day and God asks us to use it wisely. When my kids were young, “old people” would tell me to enjoy every minute because they grow up fast. I would smile politely but not really believe them. But they were right. My kids grew up so fast. We can be worrying or dreaming or planning so much for the future that we miss the gift of today. And by the way, manly men cry!

  7. That was an incredible story and then to find out the little girl is your wife took my breath away… the strength we received from events like this in our life are on measurable. Hugs to your wife ❤

  8. Ken, this is very powerful and thought provoking; I am blessed. Thanks for sharing: thank God for the gift of life! May God bless your wonderful wife and your home.

  9. I know how short life is and how fast it can be ripped out of our hands. Today I listened to a song that asked “are you where you thought you would be when the world was young”. I thought back over my life and nope I’m not even close to where I thought I would be. But today my life is blessed by God beyond measure and I thank him for it everyday. I know I have less time in front of me than I do behind and I want to fill it with as many God moments as I can. Sometimes I get so excited because I know there’s something awesome just around the corner if I’m not already doing it. I try not to waste any more time on what if’s

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