Teach Me to Number My Days

The days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty years So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:10,12 HNV)

Have you ever wondered how many days there are in a lifetime of seventy years? Most people answer this question with, “Oh, a million, or maybe a half million.” Imagine their surprise when they find out there are 25,567 days in seventy years. That’s all.

Americans tend to measure time in decades. In our youth, days, weeks, and months drag on like an eternity. We are starting our families and careers in our twenties and trying to find ourselves. Time speeds up with the busyness of our lives. Our thirties find us raising children and struggling with careers. We’re too busy to worry about eternal matters. Time moves too fast. The days swiftly turn into months and years. At forty, we are trying to help children enter adulthood as they begin their families and careers. We can reflect on and understand the mistakes we made with our children. With God’s help, we can lead them away from these same mistakes with their children. The passage of years seems like a blur.

In our fifties, we get serious about retirement. Heaven is just over the horizon. Our bodies begin to feel the results of time. The days fly by swiftly. We measure time in weeks and days instead of months. At sixty, our bodies betray us as many break down and have unexpected physical limitations. Each decade we burn 3,652 days. We look back at what we’ve accomplished and tell ourselves we’ve got plenty of time. There is always next year.

We forget during our hurrying and scurrying from decade to decade that we are here to meet God. We are to become acquainted with and learn to trust Him, and after that, we help others meet Him and learn to know and trust Him. Our families, careers, and possessions are merely backdrops in our lives. Time is a gift from God for the brief journey here on planet Earth. As we learn to number our days, we understand how precious life is. A wise person once said, “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”