I read the other day that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has passed Bill Gates as the richest man in the United States with wealth exceeding $100 Billion.
Suppose Bezos decided to deposit $86,000 every day in your bank account. But with one stipulation. You couldn’t carry over any balance to the next day. You had to spend it, invest it or give it away. You couldn’t let it sit idle in the bank. What would you do?
The same thing I would do. Draw out every penny! You would use it all to your advantage. And if you were a decent person, you’d help a lot of people along with the way with your daily wealth.
Well, you do have such a bank account. It’s called TIME. Every day God gives you 86,000 seconds for you to use. But at the end of the day, time is gone. You cannot carry over any balance. It allows no overdrafts. Every day is a new account. And there is no drawing against tomorrow.
In Psalm 90, the wonderful prayer of Moses, he says in verse 12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
This simple passage carries some profound and sobering thoughts.
Moses says, “teach us.” We learn how to count at an early age. We constantly count. We count money. The number of days until Christmas. The number of people at a church service. Or when a baby is to be born. But do we count our days?
How old are you in days? I don’t know. But the point is not literally just counting our age in days, but appreciating the brevity of life. You can count your life in days. The NET translates this verse “So teach us to consider our mortality so that we might live wisely.”
Have you considered YOUR mortality? It’s not something we particularly like to think about. But it’s real. We are not immortal. Since the days of Adam, death has entered into the world. And one day whether in youth or old age, our days will come to an end. The Bible compares our lives to a vapor. A fleeing shadow. A flower that withers. A short story. And a breath or a sigh.
So, how will we use our days? The CEV renders this passage, “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” Just like a prudent person would take advantage of Jeff Bezo’s offer and get the most of his money each day, so we should value time. In the front of my planner are the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Dost thou love life? Then do no squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
Oh, how we can waste time! On frivolous pursuits. Needless worry. Illicit activities. Unwholesome entertainment. Hurtful gossip. Surfing the internet. Watching TV. Or idly sitting around doing nothing productive. When we waste time, we are in essence wasting our lives. And definitely not applying a heart of wisdom.
As we consider our mortality and reflect upon a wise use of each day, we need to find a proper balance between work and recreation. Between family time and personal time. Between public worship and private devotion.
Furthermore, we realize that every day is different. The wise man reminds us “To everything, there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). Life is filled with joy and sorrow. Sickness and health. Prosperity and adversity. Good and bad. Ups and downs.
One day does not define our entire life. Problems can be solved. Mistakes can be corrected. Obstacles can be overcome. And even our sins can be forgiven by the grace of God. Wisdom takes each day in stride. Appreciates the opportunity for the day. Learns from it. And seeks to make the next one a little better.
A commencement speaker once advised a graduating class that “Time is the capital that God has given us to invest. People are the stocks in which we are to invest our time, whether they’re blue chips or penny stocks or even junk bonds.”
Finally, remember that we are responsible to God for how we use our time. He will judge us based on the stewardship of the time he’s given us each day. Use it wisely.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman