Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
I’m more reflective these days. A year ago today was my Dad’s funeral. In the last 365 days, much has changed in my life. I said good-bye to my Dad. I left the ministry. A beloved brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. I became a caretaker for my in-laws and stay there several days a week. I help more with our three youngest grandchildren. When Rick’s Mom died in November, another series of changes triggered. I am back in the ministry part-time, serving two churches until June 30. With a couple hand-full of part-time jobs and serving ministries, my life has become rather full! And this was supposed to be a year “off!”
As I try to keep straight where I am supposed to be, where my computer plug-in and calendar are and if I have clothes in the right location, I remind myself that I chose to do these various things. Each time I accept another role, Rick and I have tried to discern with wisdom whether this is an opportunity I should accept or not.
When I was in my 20’s, I remember thinking about what my Dad had accomplished by this time in his life. I thought he could have achieved more with his life than he had. He was a smart man, but without a college degree. I was determined to accomplish more with my life than he did.
Today, I view this completely differently. My definition of success and accomplishments are completely different. I now realize I will not make large changes within the world. My energy is put towards trying to affect small changes within a smaller group of people. I also realize affecting change is much more difficult than my more idealistic 20-something would have ever acknowledged.
My days are filled with great variety. Balancing it is my full-time job. People often say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I completely disagree with this. I believe we have more opportunities and situations in our lives than we could truthfully ever deal with. Why? So we do not become completely dependent only upon ourselves. We need reminders that life IS harder than we can deal with by ourselves. This is where faith steps in. Do we allow faith to guide our decisions and choices? Do we pause and discern God’s desire for us? God will use us, whether we always make the most desirable choice. I prefer to avoid some obstacles by pursuing God’s will more often than relying on my own will.
I am being more reflective these days, if even for only a few minutes at a time. I deeply desire to make the most of every day I am blessed with. Truthfully, I do a better job of this on some days than others. Rarely at the end of the day do I say to myself, “Wow! I got everything done I intended today.” Most days, I fly by the seat of my pants. I often look at the clock and think of how much I can really get done in the next three hours.
In weaker moments, I honestly wonder, “How important is it that I get X, Y or Z done?” Sometimes, there are imperative things to accomplish. I have to be ready for Sunday worship. I want to fulfil commitments. Too often, the things I let slide are the things I know are most important: exercise, time with God and devotional reading.
Where will my life be 365 days from today? I have no idea. My deepest desire is to remember to number my days and seek God’s wisdom every day. I cannot do it alone. I don’t want to do it alone. Thanks be to God that I don’t have to do it alone.
Almighty God, thank you that I am not always aware of what lies around the bend in my life. While we may think we want to know, we influence our future through free will. May we daily seek your wisdom and guidance in our lives so that we do not become idols only to ourselves. Guide our choices. Inspire our lives. May we see every day as a present. Amen.
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