“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their span is but toil and trouble; for they are soon gone, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).
Providential? Maybe not. But it just so happened that Psalm 90 was part of my devotional reading this morning, with the above verse feeling very appropriate on this day, my 70th birthday.
What is interesting, is that, though we are thousands of years removed from that verse and that we live in an age of great medical advancement, worldwide, the average life span for a man is 70 years and the average life span for a woman 75. Those numbers are slightly higher if you live in the United States. Though more and more people are living to be 80, the average is still in the seventies.
I checked the math once again this morning and sure enough, if you subtract 1951 from 2021 you get 70. But I still marvel at just how quickly 70 years has passed. I also know that, according to the actuarial tables, I have fewer years out ahead of me than I have behind me. With that in mind, I find Psalm 90:12 a call to be a wise steward of whatever time I am still allotted on this earth, “So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” This verse goes hand in hand with Ephesians 5:15-16, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, make the most of your time…”
Whatever time I have left, I know that it’s not time to sit back and indulge myself. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself.” And when you connect that verse with I Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”, you get a picture of a life-long mandate.
As Christians, we have a mandate to live and breathe and move and speak for His glory. “Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). And, my fellow-believer, the only finish line that is drawn in the sand, the time that we will be excused from the fulfilling of His commission to us, is when we breathe our last and assume room temperature. Until then, Jesus says, “Occupy until I return” (Luke 19:13).