As a child I was oddly irked by musings about how “time flies.” That wasn’t my view and it seemed a topic of conversation that was mercilessly beaten into the ground. Ahh, but I’ve been won over — because when you are approaching forty and you have three children, growing up before your eyes, this truth is undeniable: time does fly. In fact, the last three days have been further affirmation of how quickly and unpredictably time passes.
On December 29th, Will and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. That day we happened to be driving back from Charlotte, North Carolina — which is exactly what we did last year for our 14th. This realization was surreal for me, because I remember that day — 12.29.09– with such clarity that it feels like it was a few hours ago. It’s alarming to think that was a whole year ago. I’ve lived 365 days, each with 24 hours since then? What do I have to show for it?
On December 30th, I went to a memorial service for a sweet man a few years younger than me. His unexpected and tragic death was caused by a fatally allergic reaction to dye used in the course of a surgical procedure. His Christ-centered memorial service served as a needful reminder that we can never know when we will die and therefore we better be ready. Living in denial is just stupid and illogical, because there is nothing in life so certain as death. Furthermore, the Bible says that every person is immortal; it’s merely a matter of where you spend eternity.
On December 31st, I went to a wedding. It was a beautiful wedding with a stunning bride and a smitten groom, both of whom love Jesus with youthful gusto and admirable devotion. It was a hopeful event to behold, so impressive were these two. But I was struck too, by the fact that in the blink of an eye, they may be driving home on their 14th or 15th anniversary with three little stunners in tow, they may think their wedding day feels more like hours than years ago. They may think, “boy, time flies.” And they’ll be right.
The Psalmist made the plea, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (90:12).
The highs and lows of the last three days – the sorrow and the joy that I’ve witnessed and the milestone of my own marriage – have all been reminders of how fleeting life is. In 2011 more than ever, I desperately want what the Psalmist wanted — to number my days aright.
James 4: 2 says that we have not, because we ask not, so may 2011 be the year that I pray earnestly for godly time management, and may I even gain a heart of wisdom.