Numbering Our Days
The past couple of Fridays, the guys I meet with for lunch have been talking about the practical implications of Psalm 90:10-12:
“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
I came home from the first conversation and looked up what a few commentators said about the concept of numbering our days. I love Matthew Henry’s perspective:
“It is an excellent art rightly to number our days, so as not to be out in our calculation, as he was who counted upon many years to come when, that night, his soul was required of him. We must live under a constant apprehension of the shortness and uncertainty of life and the near approach of death and eternity. We must so number our days as to compare our work with them, and mind it accordingly with a double diligence, as those that have no time to trifle.”
We must so number our days as to compare our work with them and mind it accordingly with a double diligence.
That’s exactly what we’ve been talking about on Fridays at lunch. One of the guys often reminds us that we don’t have time to waste on the frivolous. A couple of the guys took out napkins last week and began to compute the numbers of days they might have left, as it relates to their current age – not to presume upon the future, but to consider how they want to spend those days.
It caused me to consider my own numbers. If I have ten years left, then I have 3,650 days. I’m a slow reader who gets through a book every three weeks or so. That means I would only have time to read another 173 books. Keeping that in mind will help me make wiser selections in the future or maybe even consume them differently (I recently started listening to audiobooks).
Even if I have another twenty years, that means I only get to read another 346 books. And if I live thirty more years, I might make it through 519 more books. I pretty sure my Kindle already has 519 books on it.
Not everything we do is as easy to count. But just being aware of the fact that everything we do costs us time should make us wiser in the ways we spend it.
I do know that when I come to the end, I’ll be much happier if I focused more time on people than something passive, like watching television. That’s why I make it a point, even as an introvert, to attend Friday lunches with the guys, as well as Wednesday night dinner with a close friend and Friday night activities with guys I’ve been friends with for decades. And I try to meet people for coffee or lunch whenever they reach out, if possible.
As if to challenge me on this, a friend sent me a text as I finished that paragraph (on Thursday afternoon), asking me if I wanted to meet for a quick lunch. I’m headed out to meet him in twenty-five minutes.
How about you? Are you counting your days, pushing out the good (or maybe bad) in favor of the better? I’d love to hear how your numbers break down and the way you might spend those days.
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