Teach Us to Number Our Days
Did you ever notice how quickly time flies!?!?! It seems as if we just celebrated the last holiday a few days ago and Wal-Mart is already preparing us for the next one! I never really got that old adage "time flies" when I was younger. I would look at the round clock on the wall in each and every math class I ever took and watch the second hand slowly tick sixty times. Then I would turn away and try to pay attention to my math teacher again only to turn my head towards the clock again. Ug, only 30 seconds have passed. When will the 50 minutes that represent Math class finally come to an end? Certainly, not soon enough!
Then I would look at years as a whole in the same way. Every fall I would declare "I can't wait for Christmas," then "I can't wait until Easter," then "I can't wait until summer!" It seemed as if it took FOREVER for each of these events to make their way to the "today" portion of the calendar.
My next time prison usually went something like this, "I can't wait until Iím old enough to..." drive, date, go to college, make my own decisions, marry, stay up past 8, decide when I can have a soda to drink, get a job, etc. You fill in the blanks. To me time was standing still in each of these areas of my life. To me it seemed as if it took forever for any major event to come.
Then I grew up and suddenly things started happening faster than I expected or wanted. There were kids, jobs, deadlines, issues, bills, obligations, decisions, decisions, decisions... There were so many times I just wanted to press the pause button on life and get a grip on what we were going through before we jumped back into the flow again. Oh, how longed for the time perspective of my old math classes. I wanted to slowly watch the ticking of the clock on the wall and know that things were slowing down.
Now it seems as if days fly by, events come far faster than expected, and those major life events are all knocking on the door - and my older friends tell me that only accelerates as I grow older. "Just wait until you're in your fifties [sixties] [seventies]!" I know that this is the decade where each of my kids will graduate from high school, two from college, there will probably be a marriage or two, and there might even be a...grandchild [GASP!] Where is the slowly ticking clock now?!?!?!
A friend once told me that the secret to living a slow life is to take a job that you hate. That way each day will crawl by and it will seem like everything significant in life takes FOREVER! Interestingly, he was a math teacher. Ha. The problem I have is that I LOVE my work, I look forward to my days, and I know that God is at work in the things I do. Each day flies by and ends with a sense of accomplishment.
I also remember another friend telling me that this is one of the great things of aging - that God is preparing us to understand our eternal relationship with Him. There are so many things that I realize that I'm never going to get done while Iím a finite being with a finite clock ticking on the wall. There are things about being eternal that I'm really looking forward to: spending time worshiping my Lord and Savior without thinking of what's next or wondering how I'm going to pay the bills this week, talking with a friend and not worrying about how much time we have to talk, and not caring for things that are insignificant in life. Oh and math. I'm pretty sure there won't be any math in heaven. Sorry for those of you who love math. I'm confident there will be hockey and rollercoasters, in case you were wondering.
Seeing this aging process from an eternal perspective helps me to number my days and realize that each one has added to the heritage of God's blessing in my life and allows me to realize that those blessings are going to increase exponentially when I see Him face to face.
The writer of Psalm 90 understood this same concept too! He wrote,
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
The band Revive put this concept into a song called "blink." I love hearing that song and having again the reminder that "time flies!" I want to make the most of my days, living them for the King, expanding His Kingdom, earning the right to hear Him say, "Well done."
James E. Bogoniewski, Jr.