Our lives are punctuated by the passing of seasons and years. We mark our time on this earth by the calendar of months, and we measure our days by hours, minutes, and even seconds. We live in time. From our conception in the womb, we grow and develop, and we age. The passage of time leaves a mark, as it were, on our bodies. We are not as young today as we were yesterday. Our physical, embodied existence bears the effects of time. While the ways by which we measure time may be somewhat arbitrary, breaking time into units of seconds, minutes, hours, days, extending into years, decades and millennia, there is nothing arbitrary or artificial about the length of our days. Our time on this earth is limited. Perhaps this is why we are so conscious of how we mark our days.
Every new year we pause and take stock. This is even more-so in years such as this that signal the beginning of a new decade. We reflect on the time that is past, how we’ve used our time, and resolve to make changes for the year that lies ahead. Even in our secularized culture, there is nevertheless something profoundly spiritual about this practice. We are profoundly aware of the preciousness of time and our vulnerability to its passage. God has placed eternity in our hearts, (Eccles. 3:11) and yet we live daily with the knowledge that our days ore numbered.
Hear what the Psalmist says:
Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; Certainly, every man at his best state is but vapor. Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them. And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. (Psalm 39:4-7)
Our hope is indeed in the Lord. Our times are in His hands. As we begin this New Year and decade, may we contemplate the measure of our days, and know that we are indeed created for Eternity with God. May we order our days with our eyes set on God, and may our resolutions be towards those things that draw us closer to Him in prayer, study of His Word, and worship.