Wednesday February 12, 2009
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12.
The cold is not subsiding, I still breathe through my mouth which dries out overnight and tastes like the bottom of a birdcage in the morning. But it is a reminder that every setback in life causes us to question our attitude to life and whether we are going in the right direction. Every day going the wrong way is wasted time. I remember in my architectural student days, we had to do some freehand drawing which I was not particularly fond of. The instructor reminded us that we were going to put two hours of our life on that paper, hours we would never have again.
Some say time is money, but in fact time is life. Money spent can—in theory at least—be replaced, but time wasted can never be restored; it’s gone forever. How many times have we heard of someone changing their whole attitude to life when it is threatened? Facing our mortality may be morbid for many but it is a corrective to our thinking about life and certainly teaches us “to number our days aright.” In fact, the closer age brings us to death the more critical it becomes to make all our moments worthwhile.
That’s probably why shortage of time promotes wisdom. Who really wants to look back on life lived at the bottom of a birdcage? The reverses of life, however unpleasant—and in my case a simple cold and impending surgery—are meant to make us aware of our eventual accountability. We may get away with a meaningless, selfish or even destructive existence in this life, but not in the next. Do let that cold—or whatever—get you down. It may make the difference to the rest of your life!