Temporary Substance

Audio / Produced by The High Calling


A young girl had died from cancer, and her funeral was jammed with schoolmates and family friends. The pastor had known the child well; and when the time came to speak, he clearly had something to say.

He walked to the podium and paused. Then he punctured the silence with five words: “We,” he said, “are a temporary substance.”

He repeated, “We … are a temporary substance! Like the leaves on the trees, we fall and decay. Our time ends. The tree will stay, but we will not.”

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. We all have a due date. That date motivates us to seize the moment, to stay on course, and to finish strongly in the high calling of our daily work.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Heb. 12:1-2)