Treasure The Time

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

It’s been a week since Thanksgiving. The leftovers are finally over. The dishes are washed and put away. Not much evidence that a Thanksgiving gathering happened in my home, and now the Christmas decorations are out. Today as I sit here remembering the holiday of last week, an odd feeling settles in my heart. I felt it when I waved goodbye to my son and his wife as they packed up and headed home, as I said goodbye to my youngest son going back to college and when I hugged my oldest son. The time was too short. I didn’t want the holiday to be over.

That’s the problem with time; there is never enough.

Time is the one resource not replenishable. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s also true that time seems to pass faster the older you get. In my mind it was only last week my children were toddlers and yet, today, they are grown and living on their own.

In the same way my boys grew up quickly, this holiday was even faster. For days my home was filled with people I love, then it was over, just like that, in the blink of an eye it became a memory. It passed so quickly.

Some days I feel like I am running out of time. Noticing that time is passing faster than I can grasp, I prayed that God would help me spend my time more productively, to help me discern how to use my days wisely. My prayer, like Moses’ psalm, is, “So teach [me] to number [my] days that [I] may get a heart of wisdom.” My plea asks the Giver of time to make me understand that my days are limited.

God, help me understand how short time is and understanding its brevity, have the wisdom to use it wisely.

One of my favorite writers of commentary on the Bible, Matthew Henry, writes about Moses’ plea in his psalm, “We must so number our days as to compare our work with them, and mind it accordingly with a double diligence, as those that have no time to trifle.” In other words, we must understand that our days are but a vapor, they are gone soon, and we should be doubly aware of how we use our time. We have no time to trifle.

Knowing the time is short, does the passion of our work reflect it’s brevity? Are we doing just to do or does our work have a God focus? Are we doing what God has called us to do: love others more than ourselves? Are we sharing the gifts, talents, and resources He has bestowed on us?

As a young mother, I can remember working myself into a frenzy when the holidays were on the horizon. I cleaned, cooked, shopped, wrapped, cleaned, cooked, shopped and wrapped again. By Christmas Eve I was exhausted and usually sick. That’s what my kids remember. Mom was sick or cranky from exhaustion!

As I see time pass more quickly now, I understand the folly in my pursuits. My work did not compare to my understanding of the brevity of time. I spent my precious resource of time on the wrong things, the outward things not the heart of holidays. I was more concerned with how things looked than whether my family was loved and making memories.

As my family drove away last week, my heart was heavy because our time together was over but also because I won’t see them at Christmas. As time has passed so have their lives changed. They won’t be home for Christmas this year. So, we made the most of our two days together. We celebrated Thanksgiving for lunch on Thursday and opened Christmas presents at dinner. {I don’t recommend doing the holidays this way, but we had to improvise.} The time rocketed past, but we made sweet memories.

The time passed so quickly.

The difference now than in my young mom days is that I sat down with my children, left the dishes in the sink, did not try to make everything perfect. The perfection came in the wisdom to know my time was short and there was no time to trifle with unimportant passing trivial things. Instead of exhaustion and illness, my heart was full of treasured memories.

We don’t know how many holidays we will be given with our families. We can’t be sure how many more times we will pray together, be together or have each other. Only God knows the number of our days.

My prayer for you this holiday season is to be aware of the brevity of your time and that you spend it wisely treasuring your family and friends. In no time it will be gone.

Father God, my plea is to understand the number of my days and to have the wisdom to make the best of my days loving others and loving You, my Heavenly Father. Take away my desire to rush around during the holidays but instead slow down and treasure my time with family and friends.

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