So teach us to count our days, that we may gain a wise heart. (Psalm 90:12)
My Grandson, Gordie, is now officially a year old. I remember when our daughter was born, the older people from the congregation would come up to me and say, “Enjoy her, time goes very fast!” I smiled and thought to myself, “Yea, right, I am knee deep in diapers and long work hours with sleepless nights. Give me a break!” But I was wrong, time picks up steam every day, going faster and faster. I hear that retirement is just a blur!
Now, as I get older, I have a different way of looking at time. When I was young, I had time to be bored, because time seemed to go on forever. Now that I am a grandparent and look back at how old I thought my own grandparents were, and the fact they and my mother are all gone now, has given me a greater respect for time, and the time I have left. That old phrase, “waste not, want not” is so true.
Teenagers are often encouraged to set plans and goals for their lives, so they know the direction they would like to take as they move into adulthood. Far too often, that is the last time most people take time to reassess the direction they are moving in their lives. We spend too much time on autopilot. Making the most of the time we have left requires us to reevaluate our life’s vision and goals.
I have eight or nine years before I retire. How am I going to use these last years of my ministry to make them the most productive and meaningful of my career? Now, that my wife and I are empty nesters, how are we going to use these years to nurture our goals and support our family in new ways? Then we must ask, how are my goals aligning with my God-given calling. If I do my homework, working through these questions in a prayerful manner, time will not slip away, and I will remain in control of this rapid time in my life. I do not want to look back at my life at the end and say, “Boy, I wish I had done that better!” I want to look back and say, “I wasn’t perfect, but I sure made the most of my life!” That doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and initiative. Otherwise, I will blink and Gordie will be 25, and I will have missed too much of it.