“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
As we approach another holiday season, we realize how fast time flies. The memories of past years seem like yesterday. We recall sights and sounds from long ago. Circumstances have changed, but so have we. I have a photo of my family where, as a child, I stood in the front row of the photograph If family photographs are made this year, I must note that I have moved from the front row to the back. Now, I am one of the patrons leading the way for the next generation to take our place.
Another impression is not the days we recall, but the days we don’t celebrate. Thousands of days between these holidays have been lived without note. We arose to our rituals and endured the pressures and challenges of the day, only to retire for the evening without any mile marker saying this day is worth remembering. So that day fades in the light of issues that meet us with a new dawn.
The psalmist learned to appreciate the eternal time management of God is contrary to the brevity of man. He realized he needs to learn how to make each day count! While not a natural reference, the writer requests that God teach us how to live each day with significance. Note what we must do to make today memorable.
First, we must allow God to be in each day. It is God who knows eternity past and future. It is God who records the mistakes commonly made and guides us through the myriad of options to find the right way to face each day. The person who makes the most of the day includes God in it.
Second, we must realize there is a limit on the days we will face. Knowing there is a limit, we should value each one. No day should be lived without purpose of progress and reality of consequences. The person that walks with God, must seek that relationship with Him every day, not just on special occasions.
Third, we must learn as we go. Wisdom is not automatic. It is learned in the school of hard knocks where we learn we are not bullet proof and we can’t do whatever we please if we want to see better days. There is way to reward and a way to despair. It is with God’s guidance that we avoid bad choices and anticipate good days.
Finally, we must allow God to change our hearts. Circumstances make what is within us come forth in reaction to life’s storms.
But, in time, God transforms us into people of character and integrity that find a better way to face the next storm because we know who is the Master of all life offers. Allow God in your world and it will be a day to remember.
Dr. John Temple is chaplain of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office.