A life-threatening experience has a way of rearranging one’s priorities. That was true in the lives of former Texas Governor John Connally and his wife after he was wounded by the assassin who took the life of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

In an interview, Connally explained, “As far as Nellie and I are concerned, . . . it inevitably brought into sharper focus what’s really important in life. . . . We try not to participate in things that are shallow or in the long run meaningless.”

I don’t know how this prominent couple interpreted “what’s really important in life,” but there is wisdom in their conclusions. Like the inspired author of Psalm 39, they realized that life is too short to waste time on things that have no lasting significance or value (vv.4-6).

Have we reached the same conclusion? Have we put our trust completely in the Lord, knowing that only He can give lasting value to our lives? As we look ahead to a new year, can we say with the psalmist, “My hope is in You”? (v.7).

God alone can deliver us from a life of meaningless activities. Let’s not wait for a close scrape with death to convince us of the paramount importance of making the most out of life.