Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
My days are numbered. So are yours. There’s no point in denying it or ignoring it. It’s a fact we can’t overcome. What matters is how we choose to spend the days we have. Will we waste them away in meaningless trivia? Or will we make them count? My prayer is that I will number my days. Not literally count them down, because I don’t have sufficient information to do this. But understand deeply that they are limited, so that I use the time I have wisely.
I want my life to count for eternity, not by making a name for myself. It would soon be forgotten anyway. But by bringing honour and glory to God. By declaring his praises. By drawing people to his love and kindness. By showing people to the gateway of heaven, Jesus Christ. He alone is the way, the truth and the life.
In December last year, I celebrated a year since my cancer diagnosis in a rather strange and almost eerie way. I was invited to speak at the same conference I’d spoken at the year before. This was the conference I was attending when I was admitted to hospital. To tell the truth, I didn’t expect to be at another conference, let alone give the opening talk again. God had other plans! It seemed fitting to speak on Psalm 90. This is a psalm that highlights our weakness and mortality. It calls us to fess up to who we are, to get real about our limitations, and to make the most of the time given to us. There is a rawness to this psalm and it spoke powerfully to my circumstances.
I believe it speaks to us all and the wise course is to consider it very carefully. I recommend you take the time to read over Psalm 90 and ask God for wisdom to help you number your days.
If you would like to listen to the talk I gave on Psalm 90 at the 2012 AFES staff conference, you can listen or download it here.