“For the last 33 years of my life, I would look in the mirror every morning and ask myself this question: If this was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today. And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I will be dead soon is the best tool I have ever encountered to make choices in life.” – Steve Jobs
Steve Job’s faith is unknown, but he stumbled upon the Biblical truth of numbering your days. He was reflecting on a sobering, somewhat unsettling question that has been asked for centuries: how many days do I have left? We don’t like to think about the fact that our days here on this earth are numbered, yet we know they are. In Psalm 39: 4 David wrote: “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.” And in Psalm 90:12 Moses prayed: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
In the 1700’s, Jonathan Edwards put together a list of some 70 resolutions that he resolved to live by. Number 17: Resolve that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die. Given that our days are numbered, how are we living them? Are you living today in light of the day you die?
In Psalm 39 and Psalm 90 David and Moses were not asking for a gift of prophecy, but rather for a change in perspective. They understood that living in the knowledge of how fleeting life is becomes a life-changing attitude, and they recognized that this attitude doesn’t happen automatically. It just is not natural, so they prayed for the ability to number their days. Should we do the same?
We tend to think of years. When someone asks you how long you have been working at a company the response is in years rather than days. While that seems a lot easier than days, we live a day at a time. Matthew 6:11 says, “Give us today the food we need.” That makes sense because we function one day at a time. So while God sets the number of our days, it’s up to us to make them count. Don’t think about the days that you can’t get back, days you may have wasted or sped through. Remember what Philippians 3:13. “…focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
What would happen if we had the mindset that this day was our last day. We wouldn’t just go through life, we would grow through life. We would treat each day with value and purpose. We would have a different perspective by seeing each new day as an opportunity to do things better than the day before as we serve God and through love serve one another.
- Do you want to know how many days you have to live? Why or why not?
- What can we do this week to number our days and grow in wisdom?