There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.
If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.
Jim wrote this in 1972 for his 1 year-old son. Jim knew he didn’t have an eternity with his boy. But he had less than he knew. On September 21, 1973, Jim died in a plane crash. He was 30 years old.
We know time is short. But it’s shorter than we know. We don’t have time to waste.
That’s why Moses wrote Psalm 90. Our lives are “like grass that is renewed in the morning [and] in the evening it fades and withers” (Psalm 90:5-6). Even if we reach old age,
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. (Psalm 90:10
Teach Us to Number Our Days
To give us some perspective of the brevity of our grass-like life, Moses compares our time with God’s:
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4)
A thousand years are like yesterday. Peter might have been paraphrasing Moses when he wrote, “with the Lord… a thousand years [is] as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
If we live 70 years, our days will be 25,500. If we live 80, our days will be 29,200. As I write this, I have lived 16,916 days. Steve Jobs' days were just under 21,000. Jim Croce’s just over 11,200.
Think about it like this. If 1,000 years to God is like 1 day to us, then a person who dies at age 80 only lives 8% of one God-day. That’s like a life span of less than two hours in one twenty-four hour day.
The night watch comparison makes it even shorter. One watch is three hours. So if 1,000 years is like 3 hours to God, then an 80-year life span is less than 15 minutes of one God-day. Jim Croce lived five minutes.
No wonder Moses prayed this way:
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
That We May Get a Heart of Wisdom
What did Moses mean by “a heart of wisdom”? He meant a heart that believes “the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
And what is the fear of the Lord? “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil” (Proverbs 8:13).
And what is evil? At root, evil is unbelief in God and any action that results from it: “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
A heart of wisdom is a heart that believes God’s promises, trusts his wise governance over all of life, and turns away from anything that is not faith.
Life is more than food or clothes (Matthew 6:25). Life is more than accomplishing items on a “bucket list.” Life is more than spending time with loved ones, though that may be granted as a precious gift not to be squandered. “Life is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).
“And death is gain” (Philippians 1:21). “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). The reward of a heart of wisdom is that we really will spend every day in an eternity that will not pass away, just spending them with the Son, our great delight.
So do not be “anxious and troubled” (Luke 10:41) that “there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do.” In the two hours (or 15 minutes) of our earthly lives there is only one thing God really wants us to focus on: believe in his Son (John 6:29).
And for those who do God has a “bucket list” for us so long that it will take an eternity to complete.
Recent posts from Jon Bloom —