This particular verse of Psalm 90 encourages us to “number our days“…to take heed of the fact that time is limited and then allow that information to create in us the desire to live as we should.
Here are 4 reasons we should number our days:
1. If you are in mid-life (or beyond), then you probably have a sense of this already but in case you have somehow missed it, I will bring it to light for you…time is running out. There is nothing that will light a fire under you more than realizing that time is limited. Your time is limited. The time with your children in your home and under your full influence is limited. The time you have with your parents (if you still have them here) is limited. And while this could possibly send you into a panic and careening down a path you shouldn’t go, it can also cause you to take some time to reflect on your life, how you spend your time and then send you down the path you were put here to travel.
2. “God is not asking me to number my days to increase my pace but rather to examine my route, not to increase my efficiency but to see where I must make course corrections in heart, character, and actions.” Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming. “Living as we should” or living with purpose doesn’t necessarily mean accomplishing more and checking several items off your to-do list each day. Our focus should be on those activities that grow hearts and people…on those places in our hearts where God tugs and tells us to grow…on the people we can love and add value to. Fleming goes on to say “…God calls me not only to store up treasure in heaven, but also to leave some treasure behind. The treasure of course, is people…” Let’s choose to be attentive to the work God would have us do…to loving well those people he places in our path…to spending our gifts and time in such a way that the glory goes back to him and his kingdom is built…these are eternal and worthy.
3. Once you have “examined the route” as Fleming suggests, you must apply the principle of the path. With a grasp of the fact that our days are numbered, we feel compelled to start NOW to make the needed course corrections with our heart, character and actions. The principle states: Direction, not intention determines destination. The the principle of the path is laid out in a book of the same name by Andy Stanley. The concept is basic but the effects on your life are profound. Where you end up in life will be determined by your actions and the direction your life is moving…NOT by where you intended it to go.
- You could intend to be the type of parent who spends true quality time with their children but if you don’t actually plan for that time and then make it happen they will be off to college and the opportunity will be gone.
- You could intend to lose 20 pounds but unless you change your daily eating and exercise habits you will be here still carrying that 20 pounds a year from now.
- You could intend to find a job that you love but unless you get your resume ready and start that job search and follow through, you will be sitting in that job you hate until you do.
Living with purpose means that our vision/calling determines our actions and therefore moves us down the path we want to go with the understanding that we can’t wait forever to get started. We don’t want to look back later with a heart full of good intentions gone to waste.
Specifically, the principle of the path explains why many people’s dreams don’t come true. It explains why intelligent people with admirable goals and ambitions end up far away from where they intended to be relationally, financially, educationally, emotionally, even spiritually. It explains why people who seemingly have everything end up with nothing. Andy Stanley
4. Now that your purpose, your path, have been determined you have at your disposal a decision filter. When opportunities arise, even if they are good, worthy, noble you will need to decide at times to say “no”. How will you know when to say yes or no? When you are living with a clear purpose in mind. Without it you will say yes to each seemingly good opportunity even if it doesn’t line up with your purpose and what you should do with your life. It’s very challenging to say no when something good comes our way. But if we are going to spend our days “as we should” we can’t afford to spend hours, days, even years on efforts that are not ours to pursue.
The challenging aspect about picking the right path is that the choices are now. The outcomes are later. The decisions you make today have ramifications down the road…In order to make the best decisions now, we need much more than information, common sense or conventional wisdom. We need God. Andy Stanley
I pray that we endeavor to number our days…that we realize the limitations of the time we are gifted…that we make course corrections in heart, character and actions…that we then allow our direction & actions to determine where we end up by using that purpose as a filter for each decision we make.
P.S. Would you like help discovering more of who you are and what you’re called to do as well as how to take the next steps in your life? Check out (e)coaching by visiting HERE and sign up for a free sample session HERE.