Most of us make new resolutions at the beginning of each New Year. The idea is to put the disappointments and failures of the past year behind in the hope that the year ahead will be better. However, I have found meditating on Psalm 90 to be a more meaningful exercise.
Written by Moses, Psalm 90 is probably the oldest psalm in the Bible. Moses was an amazing man of God. His life can be divided into three phases: the first forty years was spent as a prince in Pharaoh’s place; the next forty as a shepherd in the desert; and the last forty as God’s anointed leader to lead Israel from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land.
Most of us would relish Moses’ life as a prince, but in reality, his life as a shepherd was more important. For it was in the desert wasteland that he learnt to walk with God through the challenges of life. In the psalm, Moses highlights two important aspects regarding life. Firstly, man’s time on earth pales in the light of eternity (v1-11). Secondly, we need to “number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v12).
Time is a gift from God and yet some of us use it exclusively for our own selfish ends. We have no time for God because we are busy working to secure a better life for the family. Then we claim that we have no time for the family because we are busy with work. Jesus demolishes our frivolous excuses in the ‘parable of the Rich Fool’.
The rich man had been blessed with plenty. Yet he decided to accumulate more wealth in order to retire to a selfish life of idle living. The response from God was simple, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” (Luke 12:20, NKJV)
In the book Managing Your Time, the authors T. W. Engstrom and R. A. Mackenzie highlight three important principles of time management.
Firstly, God gives everyone the same 24 hours every day. Those who manage their time well achieve better results. Secondly, management of time is management of priorities. When we say we have
no time for God, we are effectively saying that He has no priority in our life. Thirdly, events passed do not return. We will miss the best opportunity to influence our children if we do not make time for them in their formative years.
What does it mean to “number our days”? A sober but effective way to understand what this means is to ask ourselves what our priorities would be if we knew that we had only one more year to live!
Picture by by Andrei Korzhyts/Bigstock.com
Leong Kwok Thye is a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church and has been involved in the ministries of Scripture Union and the Bible Study Fellowship. He is currently a volunteer pastoral care facilitator in Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) and Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road).