I awoke from a dream. In the dream I was embracing my family and crying out to my father who walked by outside of the window. All I was saying was, "I love them. I love them. I love them." So much is wrapped up in those words. But it seemed like the emphasis at that moment was that I wanted to have more time to show them my love for them. I didn't want my love to be cheapened due to lack of time. As he walked by, he looked back and nodded and said, "I know. But it was more like he was saying, "I know your pain."
The most precious thing we have is life. Life doesn't start when certain things happen in an embryo. That life started in the love of parents. And that life started in the Garden of Eden when God knelt down and gave a lump of dirt mouth to mouth. Life comes from God. Not only do we have a most precious thing, we have a way to measure it. We call it time.
Man was created to never die. Yet there was still a way of marking time. Before man was created, God created the sun, moon, and heavenly bodies to help us keep time. Time was apparently created for humans. I don't know if God created time because he knew death would enter the world, or just as an interesting and helpful element for us to use. Though time has no bearing in eternity. It has immense consequences for eternity. It is an interesting thing for sure.
Time works against us. In the beginning of our lives we don't realize how valuable time is. But as it runs from us, we begin to understand how rare a commodity it is. Time, like everything has been defined. Webster says time is, "the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continue." The most valuable commodity man has sure does sound sterile, doesn't it. Yet, that's it. Time is what it is. It is limited, and it is mysterious. We didn't know when our time would begin, and neither do we know when it will end.
So how do we live in that time? Well, it would be nice to be wise with that most valuable possession. In fact Moses spoke this prayer that is recorded in the Psalms...
Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years.
Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.
Who understands the power of Your anger?
Your wrath matches the fear that is due You.
Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.
Turn and have compassion on Your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with Your faithful love so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.
Make us rejoice for as many days as You have humbled us, for as many years as we have seen adversity. (Psalms 90:10-15)
That is sobering, but it is also instructive. Smack dab in the middle of that slap of reality is the phrase, "Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." What an interesting statement. We are to number our days. How can we number them? We don't know how long we will be here. How do you count air? It is a mystery. Well, maybe that is it. Maybe we aren't to know how many days we have, or have left. What if numbering our days is not so much about counting them as making them count? God already knows how many minutes we will have. We don't know, nor can we determine how many minutes we will have. But we can make sure our life is full of moments.
Traveling in England recently, I noticed on their old grave markers that they used a phrase. When someone died, it would tell when their earthly life began, and when it ended. But then it would also use the phrase, "They died in the 39th year of their age." When we think of an age, we think of an extended period of time, like the Bronze Age, or the Stone Age. But each person lives an entire age. You have an age. It may seem short or it may seem long, but it is your age. Your age isn't just a number that represents the time you have been breathing on this revolving ball of rock and water. Your age is your time. This is your age. How ever old you are, you are living in your age. You aren't living in the space age. You are living in your age. You will die at the end of your age. You will determine how wisely you will live in your age.
So count them. Realize they are diminishing. And then make them count. Some things don't matter. Be wise. Figure out what doesn't matter. Lose it. You are losing time. Better to lose what doesn't matter in order to enhance what does matter. Doing stuff is fun and good. But doing what matters is most important. Be wise. The apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians, "Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16)
You now have less time available than you did when you started reading this. Today you will have today. They say it is the first day of the rest of your life. You may have been wise up to this point. You may not have been. Regardless, you can live wisely from now through the end of your age. Make it count.
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My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.