Moments

Moments

Moments

October 25, 2019

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.- Rose Kennedy

Everywhere I look, I see autumn in full force. As the year winds down, the air cools and the days grow shorter. Time seems to pass even more quickly now. Sooner than I care to admit, we will be celebrating the holidays and ringing in a new year.

While I look forward to the festivities, I relish the reflective nature of the fall season. Before the craziness begins, I beg for time to slow down, so I can truly savor each individual moment.

By definition, a moment is one of our smallest measures of time. I once believed a moment to be inconsequential, too short to have any true value. 

Yet, as I look back on my life, special moments pop into my mind. It took my husband less than a minute to propose to me (and even less time for me to accept). At the other extreme, in the same amount of time, I blurted out unkind words, deeply wounding a loved one. 

Moments are short, fleeting, and once gone, irretrievable. Knowing this makes me want to make the most of the time I have.

Psalm 90, written as a prayer, beautifully captures the Israelites’ desire to wisely use their precious commodity of time. Citing Moses as the author, many scholars believe the backdrop of this psalm is found in Numbers 14:20-35.

Because of their sins of unbelief, complaining and rebellion, God sentenced the Israelites to forty years of wandering in the wilderness. 

Rooted in their remorse over their disobedience, the Israelites’ prayer identifies the key to living lives full of purpose and free of regret:

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 NIV)

Counting our days can give us a sobering visual. 

For example, given an average life expectancy of eighty years, we each have 29, 200 days (80 years X 365 days). 

From this number, we need to deduct the number of days we have already lived. To do this, we first multiply our current age in years by 365. To this number we add the number of days since our last birthday.

As of today, I have already lived 21,753 days. My remaining days total 7,447. 

Honestly, I cringe when I look at that number-it seems so small. It looks a little better in moments-10,723,680 (7,447 days X 24 hours X 60 minutes).

When we understand our days are precious and few, we learn to make the most of them. A heart of wisdom sets the right priorities.

The truth is, none of us know the exact amount of time we have. Although the total of our days or minutes may vary, we each have this present moment. How we spend it depends on the wisdom we receive from God.

It truly takes only a moment to be kind, to express gratitude, or to let people know I love them. As the days transcend into winter and the holiday season begins, I pray to finish this year strong.

My prayer paraphrases Psalm 90:

Teach me, O Lord, to make the most of every moment.

Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

Moments

October 25, 2019

Moments

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.- Rose Kennedy

Everywhere I look, I see autumn in full force. As the year winds down, the air cools and the days grow shorter. Time seems to pass even more quickly now. Sooner than I care to admit, we will be celebrating the holidays and ringing in a new year.

While I look forward to the festivities, I relish the reflective nature of the fall season. Before the craziness begins, I beg for time to slow down, so I can truly savor each individual moment.

By definition, a moment is one of our smallest measures of time. I once believed a moment to be inconsequential, too short to have any true value. 

Yet, as I look back on my life, special moments pop into my mind. It took my husband less than a minute to propose to me (and even less time for me to accept). At the other extreme, in the same amount of time, I blurted out unkind words, deeply wounding a loved one. 

Moments are short, fleeting, and once gone, irretrievable. Knowing this makes me want to make the most of the time I have.

Psalm 90, written as a prayer, beautifully captures the Israelites’ desire to wisely use their precious commodity of time. Citing Moses as the author, many scholars believe the backdrop of this psalm is found in Numbers 14:20-35.

Because of their sins of unbelief, complaining and rebellion, God sentenced the Israelites to forty years of wandering in the wilderness. 

Rooted in their remorse over their disobedience, the Israelites’ prayer identifies the key to living lives full of purpose and free of regret:

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 NIV)

Counting our days can give us a sobering visual. 

For example, given an average life expectancy of eighty years, we each have 29, 200 days (80 years X 365 days). 

From this number, we need to deduct the number of days we have already lived. To do this, we first multiply our current age in years by 365. To this number we add the number of days since our last birthday.

As of today, I have already lived 21,753 days. My remaining days total 7,447. 

Honestly, I cringe when I look at that number-it seems so small. It looks a little better in moments-10,723,680 (7,447 days X 24 hours X 60 minutes).

When we understand our days are precious and few, we learn to make the most of them. A heart of wisdom sets the right priorities.

The truth is, none of us know the exact amount of time we have. Although the total of our days or minutes may vary, we each have this present moment. How we spend it depends on the wisdom we receive from God.

It truly takes only a moment to be kind, to express gratitude, or to let people know I love them. As the days transcend into winter and the holiday season begins, I pray to finish this year strong.

My prayer paraphrases Psalm 90:

Teach me, O Lord, to make the most of every moment.

Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

4 Comments

  1. Teresa Linner on November 1, 2019 at 9:27 AM

    Wow what a revelation when you see things in numbers. Makes you truly think about all the moments and what you do with them.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on November 2, 2019 at 7:27 AM

      I know! It is kind of sobering, but at the same time, it helps me want to do more with the time I have. Thank you for sharing, Teresa! I always appreciate your perspective.

  2. Charla on November 4, 2019 at 7:07 PM

    Yes, Lord. Help us value moments in the economy of your purpose. Shirley, i wholeheartedly agree that our moments matter and we must be mindful – I choose to be mindful – to spend them wisely. Beautiful and wise words, friend!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on November 5, 2019 at 7:24 PM

      Thank you Charla. I appreciate your heart to be mindful with your moments. I’m grateful for your encouraging friendship! I look forward to when we can spend a moment together…

Leave a Comment