"Teach us to number our days..." (Psalms 90:12)
When was the last time you paused to consider how you were living life?
Last week a man in my friend's Pennsylvania congregation never showed up to pick up his son after school. After a call from the school, his wife found him at home, unresponsive. He died from heart complications. He was just 37 years-old and expecting the birth of his second child on May 10th.
At the memorial service, the man's wife and now widow, had the strength to stand and share about her husband's life and the grace that God had showed them in the past year. You see, until recently, her husband hadn't really paid much attention to how he was living. But after an initial scare with his health, God caught hold of his life and from that point on everything changed. He lived with a renewed sense of purpose before God.
That much was clear from his widow's remarks about their final week of life together. Even then he was living his life in light of eternity. She noted how their final week had truly been a gift as her husband did and said things that were deeply meaningful and brought closure to private, personal matters in her heart and mind.
This Psalm of Moses reminds us that we need to ask God to "teach us to number our days." The NLT says, "teach us to realize the brevity of life...." Our lives are dotted by these moments when we realize it's brevity. That's where Moses found himself and it caused him to ask God for the wisdom to understand how to live his short, fleeting life.
We don't have to wait for a crisis to begin asking God for what Moses did. We can ask God today to begin teaching us how to live all of our life with sobriety, clarity and wisdom.
You see, there are ultimately two ways of living life: we can live according to the Spirit or according to the flesh. We can have a Kingdom of God perspective or a kingdom of this world perspective. In Romans 8 the Apostle Paul reminds his readers to "set their minds on the things of the Spirit." The things of the Spirit are things that have eternal consequence and significance. Kingdom things that reflect Kingdom priorities. And notice that Paul recognizes that we have a choice where we set our minds. He tells us to specifically "set our minds" on things of the Spirit. That means that we, as Jesus followers, can be distracted or even led astray to set our minds on things that are not of the Spirit but of the flesh- temporal things that have no eternal consequence. When we live that way it blesses neither God nor us nor others. It's a net loss.
Without God's help teaching us to number our days and giving us wisdom, we will view and approach all of life- our work, our relationships, our belongings- according to a temporal and fleshly perspective. But we don't have to do that!
What if today you stopped to consider how you were living? What if you prayed Moses' words to God: "God, teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom?" What if we lived each and every day with that in mind?! May God today grant you wisdom to live with an eternal, Kingdom perspective.
Seth Hankee has served in pastoral ministry at Greenmonte Fellowship since 2004 and has a passion to see the church equipped for Kingdom ministry. Nothing excites him more than to see people recognize their identity and purpose in Christ and begin living that out.