Several years ago my friend and teacher, Ken Boa, in his Wednesday morning Bible Study, mentioned how Moses, in Psalm 90, instructs us to number our days for a specific purpose.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (v. 12)
Just before that, in verse 10, Moses states that it’s reasonable to expect a lifespan of 70 years, but we might make it to 80. “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures;”
After thinking about it a bit, and already beyond 70, I pulled out a calendar and calculated how many days lay between that day and my 80th birthday. It was over two and half thousand. I wrote that figure in my personal diary, and every morning since then I’ve subtracted one day.
The number today is 1,731.
And, by the way, there’s a simpler way to number your days until your 80th birthday: Date Duration Calculator: Days Between Dates (timeanddate.com).
Now 1,731 days might seem like quite a lot. And of course He may bring me Home to Him tonight, or He might leave me here past 90.
But using Moses’ benchmark of 80, that’s only 247 weeks, and we all know how fast weeks fly past. Just 247 quick weeks in which I have a lot to get done. Only 247.
Even more sobering: None of our children or grandchildren lives here, so every visit we have together involves travel. If I see each of them on average 4 times a year, that means that, if I live to be 80, I’ll only be in each grandchild’s presence 18 more times—for their entire lives! So much to ask, to explain, to listen to, to encourage and to model in just 18 more visits.
Does that instill wisdom, or panic? Certainly focus. And purpose.
I want to finish a novel and an anthology of earlier blogposts, both to touch others’ hearts and minds, and to leave a legacy for the children of our grandchildren to read to their children.
We’re not independently wealthy, so I work some every day to provide an income for us. And hopefully to leave at least a small financial legacy for the next generations.
So I am blessed with so much to do in my rewirement that I don’t know how I ever had time to go to the W-2 office.
Because retirement is not biblical. It’s never mentioned, that I know of. As the number of our days decreases, we’re called to do a different kind of work than earlier—presumably more family, service and relationally focused. And to pass on the Godly wisdom that the daily numbering gives us.
So I’m trying my hand as a mentor to two teenagers, and we’re doing the same for some younger couples at our church. I just pray that He gives us His truth and wisdom to share, so that we are a blessing to others.
I find it more difficult to stay focused on myself when time is short. I guess that’s part of the wisdom. Of course we should always live our lives, at every age, as if time is short, because we never know.
And as I’ve written earlier, we will all die, so we should prepare. It’s part of living.
I conclude that Moses is right, and I recommend that you try some version of his advice. By writing down that new number every morning, it reminds me to share these eternal truths while I can, particularly at a milestone, like dropping from 1,800 to 1,799. Or calculating the number of weeks.
If you do the calculation and your number is large–like more than 10,000 days–consider it God’s gift to you to invest early in particular people, relationships and ministries, where getting in on the ground floor, even with just a little regular time, combined with the power of compound spiritual interest, can create one day a harvest of unimaginable joy for you, our Father, and others.
God’s wisdom, like His truth, is too important. It must be shared. Count your days to increase your wisdom, and then use the gifts and talents He’s given you to share that wisdom with everyone around you.