Intentional Heart Moment #1: Numbering Your Days
Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
A typical reaction to the thought of numbering our days is one of fear. To number something means there is a beginning and an end. You don’t really start counting something unless you know there is an end to the counting. The very thought of numbering our days feels finite and mortal. Two descriptors that define our lives, but two words that can make us feel uncomfortable with the thought.
We know each of us only has a certain number of days. We know our time is limited. But often, getting caught up in the day-to-day, our focus narrows so that we see just the here and now, and it feels like it’s just going to keep going and going.
We’ve all had that abrupt moment when we hear of an untimely death, and we’re suddenly brought back to the shock that, yes, this life we’re living on this earth is ours for a limited time. This is the realization that Moses was praying for in Psalm 90, that at the forefront of his mind, he would always have the thought that he only had so much time to work with.
This may make you feel anxious, like you’re running out of time, or fearful that it could end at any moment. But what Moses was seeking was a mind that was focused on a life lived here in light of eternity, seeing that we have been given this time here on earth as a gift to live for God and bring Him glory in the little moments of every day. When we view our timeline in that respect, we desire to be good stewards with the time we’ve been given, not wasting it for ourselves but wanting to make the most of it for God. A mind focused on God and His timeline is one that gains a heart of wisdom.
Charles Spurgeon, in his commentary on Psalm 90, wrote, “Instruct us to set store by time, mourning for that time past wherein we have wrought the will of the flesh, using diligently the time present, which is the accepted hour and the day of salvation, and reckoning the time which lieth in the future to be too uncertain to allow us safely to delay any gracious work or prayer.”
As you walk through each of these intentional moments, see them as little moments of encouragement to stop and realign your life with God, to remind yourself for whom you are living and to whom you are pointing others.
Paul encourages the believer in Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
As we begin this intentional life journey, let’s consider our days in light of eternity, seek to make our days count for His kingdom, and ask for a heart of wisdom.
This doesn’t have to be any large and extravagant action. Often, we fool ourselves into thinking that the only moments that are God moments are the ones that come with some great spiritual name tag. Sure, intentional moments lived for God, giving Him glory and pointing others to Him, can be lived out while dishing out meals in a soup kitchen, transplanting your family and serving in overseas missions, or faithfully preaching Sunday after Sunday from a church pulpit. But they can also be in the moments of choosing to seek God’s Word first in the morning, slowing down and looking your child in the eye while he tells you his latest story, or helping a neighbor pick up tree limbs in her yard after a recent storm. God isn’t keeping tally marks on which act is grander. He just asks for our best and first. And often that looks like small sacrifices of self and putting others first. A heart of wisdom is a heart seeking God. It’s one that acknowledges that we don’t have it all figured out, so we’ll keep looking to the one who does. It’s a heart that knows it’s bent toward wanting what’s best for itself but also knows a life lived outside our own small selves is more fulfilling and richer. It’s a heart that knows it has limited time, so it doesn’t waste it on bickering, self-loathing, or hoarding. Instead, it seeks conversation that lifts others up, a relationship with a Father who heals and restores, and trust in a God who always provides.
Though we cannot physically number the days we have, we can have a sense of the amount by keeping our minds set on eternity. It needs to be a healthy tension though. We can swing too far either way—so focused on this life that we forget we need to be living for the next or so focused on eternity that we just drop all responsibility that has been awarded to us in this life and simply wait it out. God doesn’t want us in either camp. The in-between is a heart that’s set on eternity coupled with the desire to do the most with the time we have left on this side of heaven.
Small moments, chosen each day, one day at a time.