Jump Start # 3157
Psalms 90:10 “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years. Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away.”
Psalms 90 was written by Moses. It is likely the oldest of the Psalms. The Psalms covers the period from Moses to the captivity in Babylon, which is the majority of the O.T. And, here, the grand leader of Israel reminds us of how fleeting and short our lives are. For soon it is gone and we fly away, is how this passage ends. “I’ll fly away,” are the words of a great hymn.
I had a birthday the other day. It wasn’t one of those even year milestones, like 40, 50 or 60. But it was another milestone, 65, the magical age of retirement. My mailbox is filled each day with information about Medicare and retirement solutions. Of all the birthdays, this one was most striking and sober for me. Sixty-five isn’t really old, but it reminds me that what’s left isn’t much. There is a very good likelihood that I won’t be here in twenty years. Only the Lord knows. But that thought sure makes one think, time is running out. It won’t be long and it will be time to fly away. So many of my dearest friends are all in the same area of age. One by one we will fly away. Those that have read my writings for any period of time know that I often express the desire to be on the other side.
Here are a few thoughts:
First, mind and body are often not on the same page. The mind feels young, the body doesn’t. The mind plans things and the body wants to sit in a chair and do nothing. This is something that the younger age group can’t understand. If one lives long enough, it happens. And, congregations need to appreciate this and use this to their advantage. Maybe the senior group can’t teach a class because of all that it involves, but they sure can help the younger ones that do teach. Take a faithful senior saint out to lunch and let that person share their knowledge of God’s word. Likely many of them have sat at the feet of some of the finest preachers and their Bibles are marked with incredible notes. Ask them for their insights. “How would you teach this passage?” Then listen. There is a gold mine sitting each week in our pews and often that knowledge remains untapped and unused.
Second, as one begins to see the finish line here, the reality that some things will never be done and some dreams will remain only dreams is more true than one would like to admit. Now one can cry about that and plan a pity party to which no one will come. Or, you can make the most of where you are in life, and realize bucket lists, dreams and such things are not the value of life. Helping others. Enriching the kingdom. Leaving a spiritual legacy of footprints for others to follow, now that’s worth pursuing. No one does it all. And, in the words of our Savior, “what if you gain the whole world and forfeit your soul?” Sober words to consider.
Third, our time here, each day, is a gift of the Lord. We may not make it to Moses’ numbers in this passage. And others, will sail right past it without slowing down. Short or long, what matters is what we do with those days God has given us. Some waste the days God gives them. Some never look beyond themselves. And others, they use each day as a wonderful opportunity to glorify God and help others spiritually. Don’t try to live a lifetime right now. But don’t be so focused on today that you fail to realize that eternity is on the horizon. It’s a balance.
At the end of the day, we can get frustrated that our house isn’t all picked up and looking like a cover of a magazine and allow that to worry us and stress us to no ends. Or, we can do the best that we can and realize the Mary and Martha example. Feeding Jesus is important. Martha got that. Being spiritually fed by Jesus is even more important and Mary got that. After a long night of healing sick and casting out demons, Mark one tells us that early in the morning Jesus got up and went to a desolate place and prayed. Something about that just ought to set well with us. Too busy to pray? Then you are too busy. Can’t find time to sit with the kids and play and share and talk? Then you are too busy. No time for services? Best make the time and find the time.
Someone recently asked me one of those life shaking, big questions. “How do you want to be remembered?” I’ve even had someone suggest that I ought to put the Jump Start logo on my tombstone. It’s not my writings that I want to define me. It’s not my classes. It’s not even my sermons. I simply want people to know that God loved me and I loved Him. That’s enough. That’s all. And, that, shapes everything.
We’ll work, ‘till Jesus comes, we’ll work. That’s it. That’s all that matters.