Counting the Days…

This is day is 22,703. And what’s so significant about that, you ask? Well, let me explain. Several years ago, I was reading Psalm 90 and I decided to take one of the verses very literally.

The Psalm begins by extolling God’s eternal existence, which gives a great sense of security. Moses, who wrote the psalm, said…

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

You get the contrast, right? Generations have come and gone, but the Lord is constant! He’s been the same “dwelling place” in each successive generation. Then he explains why:

…from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

The contrast continues:

A thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a         watch in the night.

But what about people…human beings?

They are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the             morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

A little later, he offers this well-known summary:

The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty—yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.

I’ve often wondered when Moses wrote this. After all, he lived to be 120 years old!

  • Was it before he returned to Egypt to lead the Hebrew people out? After all, he was toiling day after day, year round, tending sheep—and doing so well into his 70s!
  •  He was 80 years old when he got the “Egypt mission” — so I’m thinking he probably figured he would’ve “flown away” by then! And he still had 40 years to go!

Whatever the case, it’s what came next that struck me all those years ago:

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Clearly, Moses’s point is that reflecting on how swiftly the years fly by, and how few we have left—especially from God’s perspective where a thousand years are like yesterday when it’s past!—that such reflection should motivate us, by God’s grace, to seek God’s wisdom for living the few years He gives us.

So…that got me to wondering:

  • How many days have I already lived? How many have been spent? How many have been invested?
  • How many days do I have left???

This pondering was in the old days, before people “googled” everything. So I got out my calculator—see, I’m not that old!—multiplied the number of years behind me by 365…calculated the number of leap years…added those in…then added in the number of days since my last birthday.

Once I got that number, I worked backwards. If I make it to 80, how many years left? Times 365…plus Leap Years…plus days until my next birthday.

I have no clue what those numbers were back then. I could probably go digging through some old devotional journals to find out, because every day I would jot down the days spent / days left under the date.

Somewhere along the line I got out of that routine, until I read something earlier this year—don’t remember what, but it got me to thinking about that old exercise.

Now, however, I’ve entered the 21st century. All you have to do is Google, “How many days since May 27, 1958?”

And about as fast as yesterday flew by, you’ve got your answer: 22,703.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

How many days until I turn 80—May 27, 2038?

Short answer? Not enough!!!

Actual answer: 6,517

And tomorrow, it’ll be 6,516…….

Of course, another psalmist wrote:

My times are in your hand…

So, I may never live out the full 6,517 days…or I may live to see another 10,000 days. Who knows, but God?

But the point of this little exercise is not to set the date of one’s demise, but to live wisely today…which will end all too soon. As will all my days.

O, that I did so!


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