The Truth About Time | Teach us to number our days…

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Time ticks by with unrelenting regularity...do we grasp the reality?Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

Yesterday, I prayed, “Lord, help me see the truth about time.”

And today, I sat folding laundry and crying. 

As I folded those teensy little t-shirts, I sorted out the outgrown ones and the new, bigger ones, a chore long overdue, and the significance of that task weighed heavily on my mama heart.

He’s growing.  Every day, they’re getting bigger, stronger, wiser, and more independent.

My oldest daughter came in looking for a shirt to wear to her first youth group lock-in.  Youth group, the path from childhood to graduation.  It’s begun.

I heard my other children laughing in the living room and savored those sounds.  I wanted to be in there with them, but I have a million things to do today! So many things to do, and so little time to do it.

In my hurry to accomplish all my tasks, I wonder if I have neglected the most important things.  Am I giving time to the right tasks?

The truth is time goes much too fast.

Kids have a way of drawing our attention to that.

Have you ever asked your friend how her new baby is doing and been shocked as she says “He’s good.  He started walking this month so I’m frantically baby proofing all those things we neglected earlier.”   Wait, what?  When did he get big enough to walk?

Or maybe you catch up with a friend on facebook and notice that her little girl, the one that was so cute in pig tails, is getting her driver’s learning permit!

This week, my friends have all been posting First Day of School/Last Day of School photos on facebook.  How did we get here so quickly?

The truth is our days are numbered.

Time is in fact, the most limited resource we have.  And shockingly, we cannot measure the remainder.

Sure, we know there are 24 hours in a day.  We know there are 18 years until our children are legally adults.  We know there are 2 more weeks until the end of the semester or whatever other plans we have made.

But not one of us knows how many days we have left in this lifetime.  I don’t mean to be grim.  Our lives will end in reconnecting with our Lord through our passing on or His coming!  The end of our time is not a sad thought!

But the brevity of our days is a sobering reality.  We cannot measure the remainder of time.  And what we have passes all too quickly.

Lord, teach us to number our days!  Help us to gain a heart of wisdom!

Psalm 90:12 is one of my favorite verses.  My Martha heart cries out for a reminder of the swiftness of time.  I need to remember to not be “distracted with much serving”.  I need a reminder that “only one thing is needed.” {reference to Luke 10:41}

I wonder what numbering my days looks like.

I have lived for 12, 748 days.

I’ve been married for 5,046 days.

I’ve been a mother for 4,535 days.  4,795 if you count the days since I knew I was expecting a child.

How many more days do I have?

Have I made the best use of the days I have been given?

Ephesians 5: 15 warns us to “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”  The days are evil.

That wicked time!  It ticks by, unrelenting.  Never pausing.  Never slowing.

If we are distracted for a moment, time goes right on.

If we need a break, a day for resting, time keeps on counting.

Is it counting down or counting up? I’m not sure. What I do know is that I want to be wise enough to make the best use of my time.  I know that resting is not a waste of time.  I praise God for giving us the example and the guidelines for resting.

Productivity is not intended to continue at the same pace as time.

Life is.

Life and time walk hand in hand.

In the stillness as I write, I hear the tick-tick-tick of the second hand on a nearby clock reminding me of this truth.

But I hear another sound as well.  With almost the same regularity as the clock, a bird outside chirps “twi-tweet, twi-tweet, twi-tweet………..twi-tweet, twi-tweet, twi-tweet.”

I see him out there, bouncing around, pecking at the ground.  Whenever I see that, I think of another favorite passage of scripture:

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  -Matthew 6:26-27

Worrying robs our time.

The hours pass quickly.  The days flash by.  The years add up with startling regularity.  My heart quickens in desperation to hold on to it…

Jesus knew we would feel this way, and he reminds us that we cannot add an hour by worrying.  He invites us, all of us scurrying Marthas, to sit at his feet, to relish the time. Linger with your families, and praise Him for the love you have among your people.

Serve. Love. Give. Work. Rest. Praise. Rejoice.

This is how I want to use my time.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time.

On the subject of time, and numbering our days, I think you’ll enjoy this video:

7 comments
  1. I love this post! I always say and feel that the darn clock is always chasing me to and fro! I often think once I get to heaven there will be no clocks rushing me all about. Thank you for this post It spoke right to my heart.

  2. What a wonderful reminder to number our days! I like that video; watched it some time ago, but it was a good reminder. You’re so right that we need to focus on what’s important. I’m really learning this lately; in fact, I’ve been convicted of not being careful enough with how I use my “free” (or “home”), time. Thank-you for sharing this!

  3. What a wonderful reminder to number our days and be aware of how we use our time. I’ve been learning/struggling with this these past couple of years, since I was no longer needed in my job as a teacher’s aide (after ten years in a Christian private school). It’s been a mixed blessing, but has brought many ups and downs with job changes. Over all, I’ve been able to care more for myself and my family, find more time to think, pray and rest, and start my blog.

    I’ve been realizing how important it is to use my time wisely, which is challenging with not as much “schedule” as I was used to (which was TOO much). I love your statement: “Productivity is not intended to continue at the same pace as time.” It’s so important to spend time on what actually matters, which is not always as it appears.

    I love the jelly-bean video; I watched that in the past, but it was an excellent visual to challenge me.

    You’re correct that time goes so quickly, especially with our kids. Mine are finishing eleventh grade and first year of college already.

    Thanks for a thoughtful but challenging post.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I try to have a schedule, but remember that it is a tool, not my master. 🙂

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