Two of my girlfriends left behind children under the age of four, facing a lifetime of being officially motherless. I look at my life and realize that every single day that we have is truly a gift. None of us are promised tomorrow.
A good friend asked me to consider what would be said about me at my funeral after dying at the age of one hundred. What would be remembered about my lifetime here on earth?
Looking at the end result and then ordering our steps according to where we would like to end up was the goal. What really matters? In the blink of ten years, or the blink of one hundred years?
I can’t imagine what God would have in store for me in my lifetime. One thing I know for certain is that His ways are different than my ways. I can plot, scheme, and manipulate with the best of them. However, if I’m truly honest with myself, in retrospect, the times I’ve been in trouble in my life and my deepest, darkest, regrets all stem from me being self-directed rather than God-guided.
What would a life of surrendering to God’s will look like? What if every single day began with a plea for guidance, discernment, wisdom, and courage?
A lifetime is really the culmination of “moment-by-moment.” While it seems overwhelming to draw back my perspective to encompass the whole of who and what I am, have done, and will do, there is peace and comfort in knowing that I can – right here, in this very moment – love, be thankful, courageous, creative, and patient.
If my moment-by-moments are filled with me being rooted and grounded in love and gratitude then certainly my epitaph would unfold as a tribute to a lifetime of service and to relationships filled with loving encouragement, comfort, and joy. Accomplishments? Yes. Victories? Certainly. Details? In God’s hands.
Psalm 90 has been a steady comfort to me in seasons of joy and of sorrow. It is the encouragement and instruction we need to fill our days in a meaningful way.
12 Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
The New Living Translation renders this verse “realize the brevity of life” and the New English Translation, “teach us to consider our mortality so that we may live wisely.”
14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
We can choose to be satisfied every morning with God’s loving kindness. It doesn’t matter what is happening around us – we always get to choose our focal point. Thankfulness is a powerful thing for us to focus upon. We can start our days by saying, “Thank you God, for what I do have. Please, Father, take away my longing for that which I don’t have.”
When we choose to be satisfied EVERY morning no matter what we will rejoice and be glad all our days. Those finite, unknown number of days that we do have.
16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
When I choose to live thankfully and praise God for His mercy and loving kindness I see His handiwork everywhere. When I see His handiwork and share it with my children and those around me they too see the glory of God.
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
What do we look like when the “beauty of the Lord our God” is upon us? Radiating peace? Gentle? Patient? This is a heart thing. We focus on eternity so that we might fill our hearts with God’s wisdom. Eternity is God’s perspective and it can be ours too.
God can, and will, establish the work of our hands. We can, and should, call out to God every single morning with a heart of thanksgiving. Thus can we expect the beauty of the Lord our God to be upon us as He does indeed establish the work of our hands in the time with which we are blessed, from ten to one hundred years.
In this way will our moment-by-moments be collected into a lifetime filled with, and remembered for, great love, joy, and impact.