So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
I received an email yesterday from our youngest son, Nathan. He’s 26.
“Today is the most important day of your life,” he wrote. “That sounds right. It sounds conventional and wise. It sounds like something I've been told hundreds of times . . . .”
“Consider the following scenario: Suppose that through some act of science or sorcery you had perfect foreknowledge that the day you would die is precisely 100 days from today. Knowing that, it is likely you would compile a list of things to accomplish, sort them by priority and then proceed diligently. As you progressed through each passing day a sense of urgency would no doubt arise – now only 90 days left – now only 80. 70. 10. 9. 8. Each passing day becoming more and more pivotal, each hour cherished with a deeper and greater jealousy until at last you came to the climactic final day. Could you find words to describe the value that day would have or what you would give for one more?”
“The truth is, while we may not know the number of our days, it is inexorable that our days are numbered. Tomorrow will be one less day than today . . . . [So,] act accordingly.”
As I read what I consider profound wisdom for someone so young – (I know people in their 70s who still haven't gotten it right) – as I read his email, Psalm 90:12 (above) dropped into my mind. And then my thoughts took me to another text of Scripture. This one in the New Testament. About the barn builder. You might remember the parable about him in St. Luke 12:16-21:
"The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, '. . . I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'”
Jesus then closed the parable with this warning: “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
I suppose the Lord could just as easily have added: So, act accordingly.