To Number Our Days

There is an ancient story about three demons who were arguing over the best way to destroy the Christian church. The first demon says, “Let’s tell all the Christians there is no heaven. Take away the reward and the church will collapse.” The second demon says, “Let’s tell all the Christians there is no hell. Take away the fear of punishment and the church will collapse.” The third demon says, “There is one better way. Let’s tell all the Christians that there is no hurry” and all three immediately say, “That’s it! All we have to do is tell them there’s no hurry and the whole Christian church will collapse.”         – A. Dieleman

The old tale is not far from the truth. We humans are always having discussions and dealing with various controversies about theological issues. It’s only natural, really, as each of us tries to understand God and life.

Yet, one issue that seems to evade our careful notice is that of time and the extreme brevity of our own lives. I use the word “extreme” on purpose. Even if you or I should live over 100 years, what’s that in relation to eternity? … not even a tiny bit of a drip of a drop in an infinitely large ocean. If time is so precious and our time on earth so preciously short, then how should we live these moments which quickly turn into lifetimes?

I hope I’m not discouraging you by bringing up this topic. Actually, I’m trying to do the opposite. By changing perspective on the subject of life and death, we can attain a more realistic, Christ-centered point of view. Such a viewpoint will help remove fear allowing us to live godly, faith-filled, hopeful lives on this earth.

Moses wrote one Psalm, number 90, that was included in the Book of Psalms, and what a beautiful Psalm it is! Take a look at verse 12…
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

To “number our days” does not necessarily mean to actually count them but to consider, to evaluate the reality of the brevity of our lives on this earth. By thinking seriously about the brevity of life, we should then take more seriously the lives we live before God and a watching world. When we do this, we gain a heart of wisdom, i.e., we will become more and more wise.

“Let us deeply consider our own frailty, and the shortness and uncertainty of life, that we may live for eternity, acquaint ourselves with thee, and be at peace; that we may die in thy favour and live and reign with thee eternally.”        – Clarke

As we begin this new year, should we Christians be in a “hurry?” Not really. We should not be in a human-initiated, anxiety-filled rush to fulfill the call of God on our lives. Instead, we should “redeem the time (make the most of every opportunity), for the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16).

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