Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The unreality of the "Time March?"

Why is it that we do not notice the relentless "time march" draining away the minutes of our lives? I wonder if this is what Moses was after when he wrote those familiar words in Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days so that we may obtain a heart of wisdom." Do the math. Recognize that our time here on this planet is painfully short. In the words of an old 19th century writer: "It is not for me to be seeking my bliss, or building my hopes in a region like this."
Perhaps we are not "numbering our days" because no one else around us "does the math." We shop with a frenzy, we pursue our leisure hobbies as if we have eternity to do that. We refuse to read the road signs...this highway is only 30 miles long and then you must get off. Thus, our choices do not reflect eternal ideas, only short-lived earthy ideas. And the end of life just keeps sneaking up on us.
Perhaps too, we find the thought of the end of this life here as we know it too depressing or pre-occupying. We cannot imagine there is anything better than obtaining that new car, or taking that dream vacation or earning that elusive degree that will proclaim we have arrived...we have reached a real, tangible life goal, only to suddenly realize we cannot keep it for long. I recall [it seems like only yesterday] when my father-in-law was camping with us, pointing out the mysteries of a wooded section of land in the mountains of Pennsylvania to my wide-eyed kids, only today to be confined to a hospital bed fighting for every breath. But he has numbered his days and spoke to us about his next step as a good one. How quickly life brought him and us to this moment. Soon it will be our turn...sooner perhaps than any of us know, and sooner than most are ready for because our hearts have not been prepared with wisdom. Paul's words to the Corinthians should resonate with us "...to depart and be with Christ is far better, but it is more needful for me to remain here for your sake" [Philippians 1:23]
My prayer is that God will make me time conscious, time ready, embracing the reality of the relentless "time march" ticking off the minutes of my life. Why? Not to plunge me into depression, but to lift my eyes to the reality of all of my life ...that is intended to be spent both in time and eternity. Perhaps then I will enjoy this life even more fully and joyfully because I hear the pad of the marching feet of time and can say..."do the math, boy" you only have so much of that coin to spend! Moses was right. Think about it.

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