Monday, May 16, 2011

Numbering Our Days

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. -- Psalm 90:12
I think it is a common experience in the United States for people to feel like they have way more to do than they have time to accomplish it all.  We spend 25 or 30 years working some place and feel like everyday we fall a little farther behind.  Then, we retire thinking we'll have all the time in the world to do what we've really wanted to be doing all those decades only to learn that retirement is even busier.  I can't tell the number of older people I've heard say, "I wish I could go back to work so I could rest."

The Psalmist says, "Teach us to number our days."  Learning to pace ourselves and prioritize the things most important brings to us wisdom: the wisdom to know the value of time well spent.  It was said of Martin Luther that he got up to pray for at least four hours every morning.  He reported that when he did not spend that much time his day would go badly.  Beginning and ending one's day with meditating on what God has set before (and behind) you brings a wisdom when it comes to prioritizing what to do with all the pressures that eat up one's time in a day.  Some of those pressures are really not important.  Some conflicts and disagreements are not worth wasting the time to have.  While offering a helping hand to someone else might actually make the day feel like it went well, even when it's been hard.  So, take some time to keep the number of days (and hours) before you, pray, and pick the biggest bangs for the minute.

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