"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
Back in 1967, experts predicted that by the turn of the century technology would make life easier for us. They foresaw that technological advancements would take over so much of the work we do that the average American work week would be only 22 hours long and that we would work only 27 weeks a year. As a result one of the biggest problems that the new society would face would be in deciding what to do with all of its leisure time.
Okay, we’ve made it to the turn of the century, and beyond. So...anyone take their solid 6 months of vacation last year? Work overtime for three hours to boost your weekly total to 25 hours? For some reason, that hasn’t really come to fruition in my life, and I am guessing it has not in your life either. In fact, if anything, we are busier than ever. That wonderful technology of email can sneak a whole pile of work onto our desk in just a fraction of a second. Computers certainly help us to get a lot of work done, but what they have not done is decrease the number of hours that we spend at work. And then there are all the other commitments outside of work. Kids, sports, homework, games, second jobs, recreation leagues, parties, weddings, church, socializing, and the list goes on and on and on and…
That’s why these words from God’s Word are valuable for us: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90: 12)
What is the number of our days? Let’s see, if I were to live to 70— I think that’s about the average now— that would mean that I have 11, 500 days remaining in my life. Wow, put that way, that seems like a lot! But the problem is, I have no guarantee, and none of us does. There may be only 1 day remaining in my life, or there may be 15,000 plus.
But God doesn’t give us a timer so we know exactly when we will die. Instead he gives us our days and tells us to “number them aright.”
What does that mean?
It means we keep things in their proper priority. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world, that we forget about the most important thing, our eternal relationship with our Savior.
Remember Mary and Martha? Martha was so busy in the kitchen that she forgot Jesus was sitting in her living room. How about us? I wonder how many times I’ve ignored my Savior while I had all these “really important things” to get done.
Numbering our days aright means that we cherish the time that we have. A whole new year stretches out before us. What things will be accomplished? What work performed? What failures and disappointments? We have no idea! But we do know that we are not here as a result of some chance or freak accident. We are here because God wants us to be here. And while we are here, he is with us. So cherish the days!
“...that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” There are a lot of predictions about what will happen in the next year. Which stocks to invest in, which sports teams will win or lose, which stars will shine the brightest. Those are usually interesting reads, to see what predictions are made. We might be wise in following some of their advice. But we will never go wrong in committing our lives into the hands of our loving Savior. He lived and died to set us free. Every living moment is time spent in his grace. Every breath we breathe, every day we live, we live in him. We live, not living in guilt for the mistakes of the past, nor wringing our hands worrying about the future. But we are wise to put our times, our lives, in his hands.
Let’s pray that we make the most of all our days and hours—however many God will grant to us—using them wisely, and glorifying God!
Pastor Kent Holz
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (WELS) of Union City, Tennessee, Rooted in the WORD