Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
I was walking with a friend early this summer and she said to me, “I don’t know about you, but I want to make sure I appreciate every day of this short Edmonton summer!” Having determined that I would get out and walk while re-experiencing nature this summer, I agreed wholeheartedly. In that way, I’ve numbered the days. There are only a certain number of days in the summer and it is about half over now.
What about the rest of the year? Sometimes I think that I have a tendency to just drift through or tolerate the rest of the year to get to summer or vacation or any other good time I have planned. This little bit of scripture really challenges me to reconsider this approach.
Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses. In asking God to teach us to number our days, it seems to me there is a component there of us learning to value the time we have here. How we spend our time indicates the value we attach to time. Numbering our days, counting our time, valuing every moment here, etc., speaks to intentionality of living. But I know in my own life, there have been periods of time where I have just drifted. Choices arose, but I would not act one way or the other – just let opportunities pass. As if my days were limitless and these opportunities would arise again. It sounds so trite, but the reality really is that each day here is a gift of time and I make a choice how to spend it. Every day counts.
This scripture also intrigues me today because, like the scriptures from yesterday and the day before, the mind and heart are featured. I’ve read somewhere that the mind is simply the tool that gets information to the heart. I enjoy this excerpt from Psalm 90 that reminds us that wisdom resides in the heart. So many times, wisdom is portrayed as a “mind” or “brain” thing. We attribute so much to the brain, and often think of the heart as a mere mechanical device that keeps the body alive. But I’ve started thinking that perhaps the brain is the more mechanical device and the heart actually seems to interpret information.
It seems to me that our minds may number the days and, in so doing, the value and meaning of our time here is laid upon our hearts. This is how we can gain a heart of wisdom.