Episode #107: Urgent Awareness
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
Life expectancy. What an odd term. We use this to refer to the average age we live to in any given generation. But this is an average, not a guarantee of years. I’m not an old man. By the worlds standard, I am just beyond middle-aged. That is, middle-aged based on the current life expectancy of our generation. If I believe that, then I can expect to still have 30 or so years left to live. That kind of mindset can lead to procrastination and a lack of urgency to enjoy life today. It can lead us to not invest in the actual importance of life, our life and the life of others around us. One of the biggest lies we can believe is that we have more time to live. The reality is that today may be your last day.
I have lived long enough to go to many funerals. I’ve seen babies in caskets. I’ve seen teenagers with so much promise, laid to rest. I’ve seen adults, in the prime of their lives, be buried as friends and loved ones discussed how sad it was for them to be taken so soon. I’ve been to funerals for the elderly who made it to an old age. All ages, all walks of life, men, women, and children perish each day and yet we still claim to have a life expectancy.
In this verse, the Psalmist is asking God to make us aware of our fleeting days. He is asking for us to realize that our days are numbered, not promised. He wants this so that we may gain a heart of wisdom which leads to action and away from apathy and procrastination. He wants us to count our days so that we will see each one as valuable and make each day count.
I know a man who is terminally ill. He has been for as long as I’ve known him. One day, maybe soon, maybe not, his body will no longer be able to fight off the sickness and he will pass from this life to the next. By worldly standards, he is closer to death than anyone in our group of friends, closer really than anyone I personally know. We pray for him and for his family but then go about our lives as if we are farther from death than him. Just this week, I watched the last breath pass from a man who was much younger and in better shape than my terminally ill friend. That man, in fact, was much closer to my age and had started his last day like he had started so many before, with a life expectancy of at least 25-30 more years.
I pray, as the psalmist did, that God would teach us to number our days. Help us see that they are numbered, not promised, so that we may no longer live in hopes of a life expectancy. Instead, let us be a people who live an expectant life, with an urgent awareness for the value of our life and the lives of others. May we see each day as currency to be spent wisely and invested in others. Let the next funeral be for apathy and procrastination as they pass away from our lives.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!