“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalms 90:12, ESV)
In our youth we feel invincible, as though we will live forever. While we may develop a plan for our life at an early age, we seldom consider a life plan. What’s the difference?
A plan for life is a course we lay out before us of things we want to do: family, vocation, travel, any number of things. The efficacy of such plans, however, can be rendered ineffective by forces beyond our control. An automobile accident leaves us without the use of our legs. Illness or injury leaves us with less mental acuity. A storm destroys everything you have. A loved one dies.
A life plan however is less about what you plan to do, and more about who you plan to become.
Psalm 90 was written by Moses. He begins by complaining to God about His anger. He has been angry with Israel, and Moses is grieved that God has taken their years in His anger. “For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh” (v. 9).
Then, in verse 11, Moses begins to understand that making plans and making people are two different things. “Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you emphasis mine?” The short journey from Egypt to the Land of Promise, what they’d planned for, became a 40-year walk in circles. I’d probably be a little cranky myself! His shift in thinking from verse 10 to verse 11 is telling. He goes from being upset about the state of their lives to considering God.
So, what are we supposed to do with this information?
“So teach us to number our days.” God, help us to consider that we don’t know how long we will live. We don’t know if tomorrow is ours. And while it is generally considered a good thing to make a plan for our lives, it is infinitely more valuable to plan how we will live today. If “all our days pass away under [God’s] wrath,” or if we choose to live in a way that is not God honoring, it robs us of life.
When we consider our relatively short life span, “number our days,” we learn to eliminate those things in our lives which pull us away from God. And in so doing, we grow in Godly wisdom! And who doesn’t want that?
Blessings on your day!