ARTICLE: TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS
“How old are you?” a question we may be prefer to avoid- Even before you know time just flies – the clock ticks forward – Numbers play an inseparable role in our lives- With numbers, comes countdowns of life. Tick tock tick tock – We strive our best to dance for rhythm of the clock-The time on clock start ticking when you are born and you never know when the needles in this life clock will stop– Are we doing enough to keep in phase with the clock set by the One that is beyond time?
What if you are next on the Line? When your heartbeat finally stops..
Let me start off by giving you an imaginary thought – try visualizing it – You are in a hospital bed, semi-conscious, probably after a major accident or a health issue – you are not able to talk, but just hear the sound of people/doctors – people calling out your name – you hear the sound of ECG machine just beeping – somewhere you hear someone say “He/she has just a few more minutes”, and you in your body starts to feel death slowly taking over you – What would your state of mind be then? Are you prepared for the life forward from here? You would need to leave all your beloved ones, all your materialistic possession and everything, alone from this world!
Death is a reality – irrespective of your belief system – death is a fact – ~150,000 people die every day in this world out of which ~22,500 are from India of which ~ 400 deaths in a day are from road accidents alone – this may look to you as another data – but these are individual people/souls like you and me – many who started their bike/car in the morning couldn’t make it home – many who slept last night didn’t wake up this morning. No house or a person is immune to death – even in my case, I had the loss of my family members, my colleagues and classmates – What if you are the next in the list? Are you prepared?
In the gospel of Luke (Luke 12: 16-21) – Jesus gives a parable – titles as “Rich Fool” – this may sound like an oxymoron to us as we live in a culture where we tend to see being rich as brave. The story goes this way – At the end of the year, a rich man plans for a great celebration with the abundance of harvest he had that year. He said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’
To which God asked him a question – “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself ‘.This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
This same question resounds even today to our ears – What if God asks for your soul tonight – In another instance, Jesus asks this question – “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” – Mathew 16.26
You might be surrounded by your family, colleagues and probably amid a thriving career/academics. Have you thought that you would need to leave all this and go one day – A lonely path of walk – you would need to finally walk alone form here, as Job states in his book “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart”. How true was it when Jesus said “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Your life is not just about making a career, having some sort of pleasures and then one fine day dying! There is a purpose for your life – there is no better place to understand this purpose than asking God about it.
Hope is what makes us strive for our tomorrow – I have a hope that’s beyond my grave – I have an understanding that God loves me and each time I look at the cross, I am overwhelmed by the depth of his love and even when I encounter hard storms, I know there is a God who will sail me through – and when I finally lose all my strength and leave this world – I know where I am heading to – Jesus the hope of today and tomorrow.
King Solomon who was termed to be the wisest men – had an overflow of wealth and fame – Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines – and finally, he tells it was all meaningless! He gives this advice – “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say ‘I find no pleasure in them’”(Ecclesiastes 12.1). Charles Wesley wrote this poem, just before he died – “In age and feebleness extreme, Who shall a helpless worm redeem? Jesus, my only hope. Thou art, Strength of my failing flesh and hear; O could catch one smile from Thee, And drop into eternity!”
We are affirmed with this hope which Jesus states “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” – John 11:25.
Living in the Hope
The hope I am mentioning here is not theoretical, you have to believe – it’s something you can experience in your day to day life – Apostle Paul mentions this – For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21- It’s about experiencing God in your everyday walk of life – is filled with the peace and joy that God could bring into your life – We read in the book of Ecclesiastes “..He has also set eternity in the human heart “- God has put this void in your heart – so that you discover and know him – One of the greatest fear known to a person is death – When you live in the hope that Jesus provides – you need not ever fear of death again – there is hope even on the life forward – to live forever with God!
An abstract from the Poem of CT Studd.
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Psalmist David states this way “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more”
The pleasure in this world is deceptive – it’s like a miry clay – the more you try to come out from it, the deeper you go into – don’t harden your heart to what God is calling you into – Would you ask Jesus to come into your life and give a meaning to your life – He offers you hope, not just for today or tomorrow but to eternity. As an old hymn goes this way “This world is not my home I am just passing through..” Yes, this world is just a transit – there is a greater eternity to which I am aiming and striving. The past failures, rejection, and scars in your heart may re-sound in your ears that there is no hope – what’s the purpose of my life – Would you submit your life to God – like how a potter molds a Pot – he will mold you to his plan.
May God give us a certification – like that which he gave for David “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.”- Act 13.36.
Psalmist prays this “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Prayer – Lord I submit my life to you. I don’t want to lead a life that is meaningless. Please come into my life. I believe there is hope in you. I don’t want to be deceived with the pleasure that his world could offer. I long to see you and for an eternity with you. Thank you, Lord, for the love shown for me on the cross. It gives me assurance of your love and I believe in your grace. Help me Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.