Another rainy dreary day in Berlin, today, and I’m feeling a bit contemplative on what is supposed to be an off-day for me. The fact that we are already well into the third month of 2020 is causing me to think again about the the speed with which life flies past.
I just did the math, and if I live to be 80 (which is actually a couple years longer than the average male living in Germany), then I have just under 10,000 days left on this earth. Of course, I am not promised even tomorrow, so I dare not presume anything, but if the law of averages holds true for me, then I still have about a third of my life left in front of me. To be honest, though, 10,000 days does not sound like very many.
The “quality time” I have left in terms of days may be even far less. A quick search of the internet provides all kinds of depressing statistics about how many of our days are spent on such things as sleeping, sitting in traffic or staring at a screen of some description. I will say the older I get, the more sleeping counts as quality time, but that is probably only testimony to the likelihood this “last third” will not be my “best third.” Solomon reasons: “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them.'” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
Solomon goes on to write, perhaps out of his own experience, about the physical troubles that accompany the later years. The aches and pains of aging are no fun! Moses writes even more pessimistically with respect to the days of life in general:
Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10)
So, what’s my point? We all know life is short and often difficult. Why focus on any of this?
I am not trying to be morbid with this post, nor do I (or the writers of Scripture) mean to encourage a pessimistic outlook on the days ahead of us. I am also not trying to cultivate regrets over any wasted days or years behind us. I hope, rather, that pausing to consider the number of our days might lead to a renewed commitment to faithful stewardship of the time God has given us.
Moses continues in the same Psalm:
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
May the favorof the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)
May our contemplation of these things today give us wiser hearts and more faithful hands.