Be Still Know
Psalm 90:4 NLT
‘For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.’
When we went on holiday last autumn, Mum went into a care home for two weeks. On bringing her back home I was interested to hear her reflections on the fortnight. Initially they were a little negative, with three main comments. Firstly, how many sick people there were. Now, this was a care home, not a nursing home, with many residents quite a few years younger than mum. Then she was surprised at how often many individuals fell asleep, even during meals or when participating in an activity. Finally, just how noisy everywhere was, and I understood how challenging it must be for an introvert, like Mum, to make sense of the continuous hum of social activity in such a communal space.
Mum raised the question on the way home that she was left wondering “What is life for?” Her quote was, “We are born, we suffer and then we die and are no more.”
Time which feels so expansive when you are a child contracts with age. Time flies by and our allotted time on the earth can catch up with us, even take us by surprise. For God a moment of time is 1,000 years, a measure beyond our comprehension. The 1,000 years, of course, is only measurable once it’s past. Hence we are to live in the moment. While Jesus commands us to pay no attention to tomorrow – the opposite of politicians and those trying to selling something to us – we are also not to spend our time reminiscing endlessly. Our invitation is to live within the only time we can influence effectively, which is now.
Life is precious, yet not ours, for it is a gift from God. Like all gifts, it is to be given away to God and to others; one way in which we give to God. Reminiscing only distracts us with memory, while future thinking is no more than hopeful speculation. Yet today I can live fully present in a world urgently in need of love and service and an embrace from the Lord of life.
QUESTION: How do you view time? Do you reminisce, or are you planning for some speculative future in retirement?
PRAYER: Lord, I realise my days are short, yet I would live each day with eternity in mind.