About twice a year, my wife and I fly to Nebraska to visit our family. It usually means changing planes at Chicago Midway. Part of that transition includes a ride on one of the moving walkways.
Have you noticed that once you’re onboard the walkway it’s very easy to disengage from the reality that you’re moving forward? You can just drift along in your own little world, forgetting that things will come to an end sooner than you think.
Before you know it, the speaker barks, “Caution! The moving walkway is ending! Caution! The moving walkway is ending!”
If you and I are not careful, we can navigate through life that way. We can simply glide along, marking things off our to-do list with little thought about what’s eternally important. We lose sight of the fact that with each tick of the clock we’re advancing to a point of definite conclusion. It’s easy to do that, isn’t it?
Moses knew the danger of drifting along with no concern about the passing of time. In Psalm 90, his plea to God was:
So, teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12 NASB).
Moses was aware that God’s children need to be taught to number our days. And he knew that to truly number our days we must have a heart filled with the wisdom that comes from our heavenly Teacher. It’s the only way to effectively live out a day in a way that matters.
So, numbering our days is not just a matter of racing through the day accomplishing tasks. It’s first spending time with our wise King, listening to Him. Then, we move through the day dependent on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I believe that’s what Moses meant when he prayed “teach us to number our days.”
You’re likely familiar with the British minister Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He was called the “Prince of Preachers,” and he preached to thousands in London in the 19th century. I’ve always appreciated his ability to share deep spiritual truths and present them in a way that someone like me can understand.
In Spurgeon’s Verse Expositions of the Bible, Reverend Spurgeon explains that a well-numbered day is a day in which wisdom is our guide:
"That is the great matter, after all, to get the heart applied to wisdom, to learn what is the right way, and to walk in it in the practical actions of daily life. It is of little use for us to learn to number our days if it merely enables us to sit down in self-confidence and carnal security; but if our hearts [are] applied to true wisdom, the Lord’s teaching has been effectual."
May we approach each day with a determined carefulness. There’s no time to lose. Each new sunrise will usher in opportunity after opportunity for us to live for our Lord.
This was the Apostle Paul’s charge to the followers of Jesus Christ in Philippi:
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God (Philippians 1:27-28).
By God’s grace, you and I have a much higher purpose now that we’re Christians. Our manner of life is to be “worthy of the gospel of Christ.” What an honor considering we were once enemies of this King. What a motivation for us to resolve to number each day.
It is helpful when God places someone in our path whose lifestyle challenges us to be resistant to drifting. Those of us who had the privilege of working alongside our founder, Don Wildmon, know that he was an example of a man who was driven. He was laser-focused on accomplishing what God called him to do. He had no time for drifting.
His commitment to his calling resounds in the mission statement for this ministry he launched in 1977:
"The mission of American Family Association is to inform, equip, and activate individuals and families to transform American culture and to give aid to the church, here and abroad, in its calling to fulfill the Great Commission."
Reverend Wildmon’s pattern should inspire us to move through each day with a sense of purpose. There is critical kingdom work to be done, and…the clock is ticking.
(Download the American Family Radio App to listen to Rick on AFR’s Music Network. He is heard weekdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Central.)