Today is my 59th birthday. During a time of prayer and reflection in the Word this morning I was pondering the concept of time. I was thinking about how close I’m getting to the age of 60. As I thought about this, I realized that today is actually the first day of my 60th year after birth.
What I mean is, when one reaches the age of 60 it means that he or she has lived outside the womb and on the face of this earth for 60 years. In other words, 60 years have been completed when one reaches his or her 60th birthday. This may sound nonsensical or odd, but it’s actually quite interesting if you think about it.
Psalm 90 is preceded by a notation stating that it represents, “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” As Moses prayed the words recorded in Psalm 90, he focused on time. The themes include the eternal nature of God. In contrast, it’s made clear that men and women have only a relatively short time on earth. Moses recognizes that life is difficult due to our sin nature, and in the later verses he pleads with God for gladness and joy in the midst of the suffering that each person will know in life. Included in this prayer of Moses is an interesting request. In verse 12 Moses prays:
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
As I read the Word this morning, prayed, and then listened, I sensed that in a small way that’s what God was trying to encourage me to do on my 59th birthday. By leading me to understand that today is the first day of my 60th year, the Lord encouraged me to make this year meaningful. What is it that I would like to be different in my life on my 60th birthday? When I complete my 60th year 365 days from now, what would I like to look back on as being of value during this period of time?
I’ve never really “numbered my days” in this particular way before, yet it offers a fascinating and somewhat motivating perspective. This novel way of looking at the year before me motivates me to want to make it special and meaningful. After all, as Moses reminds us, our time is quite limited. If the Lord allows me to live to my 60th birthday, I want to look back at this year as among the most meaningful of my life. My challenge now is to determine what this will look like, and to discover my part in making it a reality. Understanding that I can only do so with the grace and strength God gives me is the first step.
Whether on your next birthday you’ll be starting your 14th or 90th year, take some time to number your days with a new and exciting perspective. Think through how you can make the next 365 days among the most wonderful and memorable of your life.
What a gift it is to be alive. Each day is an opportunity to love God and to love others. Since our days are limited, let’s commit to making them meaningful and extraordinary. In doing so, I pray that God will be pleased as we seek his will through reading his Word, through drawing near to him in prayer, and through listening to the promptings he brings about in our hearts. No matter when your birthday comes around, I pray that your days will be filled with joy as the Lord leads you, and as you walk in his ways.