The following post is from the August 3rd UCC Still Speaking Devotional. It is a very good reminded that all of us need to periodically take an accounting of how we are spending our time, as truly, our time here on earth is not unlimited. This does not mean that everyday should be filled to the brim with busyness and work. A stuffed life is not necessarily an authentic life. Sometimes we are called to do more; sometimes less. Sometimes we are called to action; sometimes to stillness. Regardless, we are always called into relationship, with God, with others, and with ourselves. Our response to that call is how we live our life.
Today, whether we are called to work or to recreation, to celebration or to mourning, let us remember that there is a difference between abundant life, and unlimited life. One is very real, and the other is an illusion. It is the gift of wisdom that helps us tell them apart.
Blessings on your journey. May our paths bring us together soon.
Making Our Days Count
Richard L. Floyd
“So teach us to count our days, that we gain a wise heart.” – Psalm 90:12
I was twenty-six when I was ordained and called to two small congregations in two small rural Maine towns nine miles apart. I grew a beard to look older and wiser than I was. I’m pretty sure it didn’t fool anybody.
Sometime in my forties the beard started to turn gray, and I shaved it off because it made me look older than my years. How often have we wanted to be older or younger than we are, rather than just living out our lives from day to day? My mother had a lovely phrase she employed; she would say that someone was “aging gracefully.”
I think aging gracefully is a worthy goal. When I was young I thought I had all the time in the world, even time to waste. Now that I am not so young I understand that a day is a precious gift.
Psalm 90 is a reflection on the transience and brevity of life, our mortality in the face of God’s eternity. In Isaac Watts’ famous hymn based on the psalm he captures this beautifully in this verse:
Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
The fact is we only get so many days. In the face of this reality the psalmist prays to God: “Teach us to count our days, that we may gain a wise heart.”
How do we use our days wisely? How do we make our days count? What habits of the stewardship of time can we put into place that might lead people to say at the end of our days: “Her life was well-lived.” Or perhaps just, “He aged gracefully.”
O God, before whose face the generations rise and fall, teach us to count our days, that we may gain a wise heart. Amen.