As we move, with Psalm 90, into Book IV of the Psalms, we read what are for many of us some of the most familiar words of the psalmists. Out of all of them this morning, these two lines from Psalm 90:12 spoke most directly to me….
So teach us to count our days
that we may gain a wise heart.
One of my favorite books of all time is entitled When I Relax I Feel Guilty. It was written by a friend of our family named Tim Hansel. My favorite chapter in the book is entitled “The Time of Our Lives”. I wish I could quote the whole chapter to you, but that would take a lot of typing and a lot of space. Therefore, I will limit myself to just a few quotes and urge you to buy the book.
Tim begins the chapter by saying,
I once read a thought provoking article entitled, “If You Are 35, You Have 500 Days to Live.” Its thesis was that when you subtract the time spent sleeping, working, tending to personal matters, hygiene, odd chores, medical matters, eating, traveling, and miscellaneous time-stealers, in the next thirty-six years you will have roughly the equivalent of only five hundred days left to spend as you wish. No wonder the Psalmist advised,, “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”
Another one of Tim’s memorable illustrations is this one….
What would you do if every morning your bank phoned, informing you that your account had been credited in the amount of 86,400 pennies ($864)—but with the stipulation that it had to be spent that very day? No balance could be carried over to the next day. Every evening canceled whatever sum you failed to use. Think about what you could do with such a gift. You would probably draw out and use every cent every day.
Leslie Flynn, in his book It’s About Time, says that we do have such a bank—called the First World Bank of Time. Every morning this bank credits your account with 86,400 seconds—but no balances are carried into the next day. Every night erases what you fail to use. Failure to draw it out and use its treasure is your loss. No previous day’s time can be reclaimed.
Then Tim shares these lines from an unknown source….
I went out Lord,
Men were coming and going,
Walking and running.
In spite of all their grand efforts,
They were still short of time.
Lord, you must have made a mistake in your calculation.
Lord, I have time.
I have plenty of time, all the time that you give me,
The years of my life,
The days of my years,
The hours of my days.
Mine to fill quietly, calmly,
Up to the brim.
How will you use your 86,400 seconds today?