Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lessons from the Timer

One of the joys of living in a home with 3 women (other than the exercise I get while treading water in a bottomless sea of estrogen) is being constantly amazed at how long they can take in the shower. Seriously, I think Global Warming isn't happening from carbon or any of that other stuff; it's happening because of all the steam escaping from homes where women spend so much time in the shower. And I've discovered that this isn't limited just to adult women; it's a trait that's shared by women-in-training as well. Like Lily. I love my Lily-bug; coolest kid around. But she could spend all day in the shower. It was getting to be quite a problem because she likes to shower in the mornings rather than the evenings but was taking so long she was consistently late for school. And it's hard to explain to teachers why your kid is late when you only live 2 blocks from the school. So we finally settled on a solution; the good old fashioned kitchen timer. We set it when she gets in the shower and it when it goes off, she knows it's time to get out. The first few times were kind of tough, especially since she still had soap in her hair. But we told her to toughen up and she would be fine.
As I was setting her timer this morning (and yes, we have to set the timer for her as she isn't fully awake until about 20 minutes after her shower), I was struck by the thought that we're all on a timer. There is a limited amount of time we're given. And the funny thing is, we don't know how much time it is. It would be nice if we knew how many minutes were on our timer, wouldn't it? I don't mean in a morbid way, I just mean that we would be more focused on what matters. We would give ourselves to the things that have significance rather than wasting some of our precious minutes and hours on stupid, inconsequential things.
In Psalm 90:12 we read, "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Wisdom comes when we learn to number our days; not try and affix a specific amount of time to our lives, but realize we are given but a finite time here. This life will not last forever. And so the choice before is simple; what will we do with the time we have? And don't misunderstand, this isn't a "You better repent before you die" kind of post-although you should. This is just a reminder that the years we're given aren't infinite; that the moment you're in your life won't last forever; that the season you're in will one day pass. One day my kids will be grown and gone; some days I wish for that. But when that day comes, will I look back on how I spent my time with them and be proud? Or will I look back with regret? Will I look back on how I treated others and be content? Or will I be filled with remorse for stupid words and thoughtless actions? And most of all, when I look back on how I regarded my Savior, will I be able to say that I kept the faith and ran the race? Or will I look back and see that I shamed my King?
Our lives are on the timer, so to speak; you may have decades yet to live, and I hope you do. I hope I do. But I may not. If not, what am I doing today that matters? What am I doing now that will last? Am I numbering my days? Or am I wasting them?
Father, thank You for the gift of life. Thank You for granting me the years I've had. Help me to remember that those years are finite, that there will come a day when the timer of my life will run out. Help me to live in such a way that when that day comes I won't be ashamed, I won't be sad. Rather, I'll be able to rejoice in Your provision, and look back with gratitude on how You led me to spend my days wisely. Help me to do what matters in regards to my family, my church, and most of all, in regards to You, my King. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post Randy. I struggle greatly with balancing my quantity of work with my quality of it. I used to work so hard to see how much I could get done in a day instead of looking at what I was getting done......was it really the "important" stuff. That's how I would rate how my time was being used --by how much I was getting done. I sometimes pat myself on the back when I look back on how much I can accomplish in a day when I really try, but when I think about what all I did, a lot of times it isn't things that should have come first or I've neglected to reach others for Christ through it because I've been so focused on finishing the task at hand instead of bringing glory to God through it. Thanks for this reminder today!