A very simple but powerful Psalm (90:12 to be exact) states, "teach us to number our days so that we may apply our hearts to wisdom". For most of us, if we knew the exact date we were going to die, we would probably live our lives very differently. We would probably avoid anything and everyone who detract from our quality time, value, happiness and security. We would strive to be better mothers, fathers, friends and our pursuits in life would have more intrinsic meaning than not. We would be better decision makers. It is interesting though that without this pre-knowledge of our death, many of us live as if we will live forever. Psalm 90 insinuates that there is wisdom in numbering our days. I actually tried this and calculated that I have been on the earth roughly 16004 days (will be 44 in August) and that if i live to be 70, i have less than 9500 days to go. I discovered that more than half my young adult life had been consumed by shallow pursuits and emotional decision making. Sounds morbid?
Now, obviously the Lord could see fit to give me more or less time than this. No man really knows.
The thing is, when I did the math, it was like taking a whiff of smelling salts. I found myself rethinking what is and should be more important to me. Likewise, doing so helped me to take a look at even some relationship choices and business decisions that were dream thieves and time robbers. Poor choices in the form of relationships and business decisions are time robbers in that they take up so much time and space in our emotions; causing things like stress, bitterness, anxiety, depression and a host of other things that "steal" from our security, emotional and spiritual health. They are dream thieves in that whenever we are focusing our attention in an area we should not, our dreams are passing us by. Jacob was distracted by his desire to have Rachel. Meanwhile, Laban was benefiting from a favor God intended for Jacob...Laban used this as an opportunity to rob him for 21 years. People profit from our passivity, naivete, foolishness and poor decision making. As for the shallow pursuits, they will inevitably prove to be our worst enemy and biggest distraction of all. One of the richest scriptures in the bible holds the how-to keys to true wealth. So rich that it is mentioned more than once in the gospels. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33
I would say that doing this small, seemingly silly exercise like numbering my days, is the single best decision I have ever made. I have applied my heart to wisdom and become more selective about who enters and takes up residence in my life and additionally who or what occupies my time. It is simple mathematics. Is it worth your time? Redeem Your Time