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The Brevity of Life

The Brevity of Life

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Category: Special Features

As the week begins consider this short verse from the Psalms:
"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom" (Psalm 90:12 NLT).

Another version says it:

"Teach us to use wisely all the time we have" (CEV).

Still another reads: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (NIV).

You may have never prayed that simple prayer, but chances are the lesson is being taught in various ways every day in your community.

You get word that a classmate from high school has just had a heart attack and died. He was your age.

Within weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer you are attending the funeral of a co-worker. He went so fast.

A teenager is killed going home from football practice. He was the star of the team.

A mother of three small children is broadsided by a semi in the middle of the day. She was on her way to pick up her kids from school.

The news reported that the babysitter had left the three-year old alone on the deck to check on something she had left on the stove. When she looked up he was floating in the pool.

A freak accident claimed the life of a friend. You were with him yesterday. You talked with him on the phone last night. Now he is gone.

The Psalm says, "Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." "Teach us to use wisely all the time we have."

If we knew how much time we had, we'd use it wisely ... at least the latter part of it. Wouldn't we? Perhaps that is the point.

So, how do we do it?

The Psalmist may give us the answer at the beginning and at the end of the Psalm:

Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God (Psalm 90:1-2 NLT).

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17 NIV).

When we realize that the Lord is our home and that God is God, we can see our days more clearly. When we allow the Lord to establish the work of our hands, we can see our days more clearly. With this knowledge we can appreciate and remember that life is brief, that things can change in a split second. Since we don't know how much time we have, we must learn to use what we have wisely. Every day live wisely. Every moment live fully. Take advantage of all opportunities.

Let's start right now. We don't have much time.

About the Author

Tom Norvell
Tom Norvell is the author of "A Norvell Note." He ministers at the Hermitage Church of Christ in Hermitage, Tennessee.

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