Thursday, July 12, 2018

Psalms 90:12 -- On Numbering Our Days

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
Psalms 90:12


This verse and the idea of numbering our days echoes an often-heard theme in literature, that of "seize the day" and realizing that our time is precious, and limited.  Obviously inside the gospel, this verse should not be read in some of the ways that the theme has been interpreted in literature that might encourage immorality or incorrect choices, making a false argument about needing to enjoy this moment without regard for the future.  Rather, the idea is straightforward about the value of our time on earth and the opportunity cost of wasting the time that we have.

I don't think that the verse is meant as a guilt-trip.  I think, rather, it illustrates the importance of planning.  Leisure and down time are not bad things.  We need to control our stress and anxiety levels and not get overwhelmed, and we shouldn't be overdoing it so much that we can't relax and enjoy our lives sometimes.  Man is that he might have joy, after all.  But, as with everything, moderation is important, and I think we all sometimes have those days where we go off on a tangent and find that we used up all the time we had and maybe didn't accomplish anything that we feel is worthwhile, or even arguably essential things like prayer or scripture study.  So, the idea here is to make sure that we "number our days" or plan things that we can accomplish each day, and make sure that we (wisely) prioritize the things of God--the things that have eternal consequences.

Today, let's make sure we get the important things done first, and then enjoy the rest of the day, rather than doing things the other way around and often never getting around to God.

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