The days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty years So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:10,12 HNV)
Have you ever wondered how many days there are in a lifetime of seventy years? Most people answer this question with, "Oh, a million, or perhaps half a million." Imagine their surprise when they find out there are 25,567 days in seventy years. That is all.
Americans tend to measure time in decades. In our youth, days, weeks, and months seem to drag on like an eternity. In our twenties, we are starting our families and careers and trying to find ourselves. Time begins to speed up with the busyness of our lives. Our thirties find us raising children, struggling with our career choices, too busy to worry about eternal matters. Time moves too fast. The days swiftly turn into months and years. At forty, we are trying to help our adult children as they begin their families and careers. We can glance back and spot the mistakes we made with our children. With God’s help we can steer them away from the same mistakes with their children. The passage of years seems like a blur.
In our fifties, we get serious about retirement. Heaven is just over the horizon. Our bodies are beginning to feel the results of time. The days swiftly fly by. We measure time by weeks and days instead of months. At sixty, our bodies begin to betray us as they break down. Many of us get unexpected physical limitations for which we are not prepared. Each decade we burn 3,652 days. We look back at what we've accomplished and tell ourselves we've got plenty of time. There is always next year.
We forget during our hurrying and scurrying from decade to decade that we are here to meet God. We are to learn to be acquainted with and learn to trust God, and after that help others to meet God and learn to know and trust Him. Our families, careers, and possessions are merely backdrops in our lives. Time is a gift from God for the short excursion here on planet earth. As we learn to number our days, we realize how precious our life is. A wise person once said, "Only one life, twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."
Father, teach me to number my days, and help me recognize that a heart of wisdom is my most valuable assets. Teach me to appreciate the little things in life that I cherish each moment, each hour, and each day. Let my end be to know, You, and let my motives be to help others know You. Thank you for this precious gift of time. Help me use it wisely.
Do you know how many days you have already lived? Have you accomplished what you wanted accomplish in your family and for God? Do the math. Ask God to give you wisdom that you can use His gift of time wisely.
Dr. Schuetz is an ordained minister and has been in ministry with her husband for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in clinical Christian counseling. She and her husband, Michael, of 33 years have 2 sons, 1 daughter, 9 grandchildren.