"So teach us to number our days aright, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12, NASB
Millenniums, centuries, decades, years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds ~ all units of time divinely ordered by God.
For thousands of years, man has created calendars and mechanical devices to keep track of these increments. The ancient Egyptians divided the day into two twelve-hour periods and used obelisks and sundials to track the movement of the sun across the sky. We now have astronomical clocks to gauge the movement of the heavenly bodies as well as tide clocks to monitor the ebb and flow of the lunar and solar tides. Men have created water clocks, chronometers, hourglasses, pocket watches, pendulum clocks, cuckoo clocks, quartz and atomic clocks, wristwatches, calendar watches, and stopwatches, yet, no matter how we try to control it, time never stands still, never retreats. Time is always moving forward as if on a mission.
There is an Irish saying, "When God made time, he made plenty of it," and yet, we lack sufficient hours in our days to complete what we perceive is necessary. We have always regarded time as something to keep up with. We identify with the White Rabbit's dilemma in Alice and Wonderland, as he scampers through life exclaiming, "I'm late. I'm late, for a very important date. No time to say 'Hello, Good-by.' I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" We scurry behind schedule, or dart ahead of it, all in an attempt to be on time. And if ever we are on time, we keep a discreet eye on the clock, for there is always another appointment to rush off to, a brand-new dream to chase, a carpool to taxi, or simply one more moment to stalk.
Since it debuted in 1965, the daytime soap opera Days of our Lives has featured an hourglass with sand slowly trickling to the bottom, accompanied by the trademark voice-over, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."
Have you ever taken the time to number the days of your life? This year on my birthday, I was 23,360 days old. Sounds as if Methuselah is my next of kin, doesn't it? (And stop that! I know you are dividing it out to see how old I am.) According to the life expectancy calculator on the U.S. Social Security Administration's website, I can expect to live another 21.6 years, or another 7,884 days. When I look at that number in relation to how many days I have already lived, it puts my life into sobering perspective.
Like sand in an hourglass, our days are rapidly slipping away. We can flip an hourglass over and rerun the sands of time ~ not so with the true "days of our lives." Those sands we will never recall. Perhaps, then, we need to stop keeping track of the moments and start numbering our days "aright."
King Solomon avowed that God "set eternity in the hearts of men." Deeply rooted in every human heart is a continual longing for something more than this world has to offer, and yet we are incapable of fully grasping the eternal. Nothing within this physical realm will ever truly satisfy our yearning for something more. Only the eternal presence of God living deep within our hearts will bring the fulfillment we are seeking ~ fulfillment which stretches into eternity.
So breathe! Slow down! Take time to spend quiet moments with the Father of time. Consider the brevity of life and devote your heart to true wisdom ~ a wisdom that can only be imparted to us by his Spirit. The previous moment has passed, and the subsequent moment may never come. This moment is all we have. This moment is our life.
What shall I do with the next 7,884 days of my life? Stop counting and ~ live!
How many days do you have left to be truly productive for God? Apply your heart to true wisdom and, instead of counting the moments, make each moment count for eternity.