A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:4, 10, 12
Let me tell you about a French woman by the name of Jeanne Calment. She took up fencing at the age of eighty-five and rode her bike until she was one hundred. She lived to be 122 years old. When asked, she credited her long life to drinking Port wine, a diet rich in olive oil, and her sense of humor. “I will die laughing,” she predicted. In fact Jeanne had the last laugh when it came to a business deal she made when she was ninety years old. In 1965 a forty-seven-year old lawyer offered to purchase Jeanne’s apartment. He agreed to pay her $500.00 a month for the rest of her life on the condition that ownership of the apartment would immediately revert to him at her death.
In his eyes, it was a gamble that would pay off royally. It was sure bet. Though the lawyer lived to the respectable age of seventy-seven, Jeanne outfoxed him by living a year longer than he did. Over the course of thirty years the lawyer paid Jeanne a total of $184,000, more than twice the market value of the apartment. To add insult to injury, his heirs were obliged to continue the payment until her death.
When it comes to age, other world record holders have attributed their longevity to so many different things. Genetics, attitude, diet, or the air we breathe – who knows why some people live longer than others. But even 122 years is not much compared to eternity. This life, whether it lasts 15 years, 60 years, or over 100 years is to be a preparation for the guaranteed eternity that we all will experience.
Scripture teaches us that wisdom comes, not from living a long life, but from numbering our days, which is a way of reminding us that death could come to us anytime, anywhere, at any, moment. For those who have faith in the everlasting God, this prospect can help keep us humble and focused. We should be humbled because we recognize our limitations. We should be focused because we believe that every day matters.
Let it be said, not that we died laughing (great as that might be), but that we died loving, trusting our eternal future to the everlasting faithfulness of God.
Why not stop a moment and reflect on Psalm 90:4, 10 and 12.
- Praise God that He has no beginning and no ending
- Offer thanks to God for making your soul immortal
- Confess any tendency you have to live without reference to heaven and eternity
- Ask God to make you grateful for every day that passes.
Paul says “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” (Ephesians 5:15-16). As I write this, 278 days have already passed in this year. Time is fleeting so fast and we will not be able to recover any of it. We need to be wise, make every minute and moment count for eternity. Pretty soon our numbered days will be finished on earth – they quickly pass – and then we fly away into eternity – and there will be no more opportunity to make an eternal difference. Today is the time for making the most of every opportunity. God has given you this day to glorify Him with. Well?
Learning to number my days, Pastor Steve<