Bread – Urgent

November 2, 2016

Psalm 39

O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!” Ps. 39:4

When something becomes urgent in our lives, we focus more and more and work harder and harder to achieve the goal.  For example, we are working on a two hour exam and we are two-thirds of the way through and look up at the clock, realizing that we have just 20 minutes left.  The alarm bells go off, our daydreaming ends, and we sharpen eye and pencil to complete the test on time and accurately!  Our failure to budget our time has resulted in the urgent, the need for rapid, decisive action.  And we take off like a rocket to “git ‘er done.”

For another example, we start getting sick at noon but have other business to attend to.  It is now 6:00 and we are running a fever and have a splitting headache.  We need urgent attention, but the doctor’s office is closed.  We race, perhaps even dodging the slow-poke drivers in our way, to the “urgent” care center, where we know relief is one shot of medicine away.  Cost?  Irrelevant.  Other things to do?  They take a back seat.

When we are in the moment of urgency everything takes a back seat.

Why was David asking God to let him know how fleeting his life was, how long he had to live?  Maybe to remind him that there is only 20 minutes left on the test clock.  Maybe to remind him that our life on earth has a definite limit.  God didn’t have to tell David the measure of his days; David already knew his days were numbered, whether many or few.

We know this too.  Death lurks behind the door of our lives.  We say that a person’s death is untimely.  Really?  Do we not know that our life may be gone tomorrow?  Of course we do, when we think about it.  We just don’t like to think about it, so we don’t.

But David understands that if a person thinks about death, if a person knows it could be tomorrow and that death is imminent, one immediately moves from the tomorrow to the today.  The urgent drives us to live in the moment, with no care for the past and no worry for the future.

David wanted to live an urgent life, one full of concentration, joy, and effort … and so he needed God to help him focus by pointing out the ticking clock.

What would we do today if we lived the urgent life?  What phone calls would we make, what apologies would we give, what good things would we do for others, what conversations would we have?  What would we do to make amends, to get done the important projects, to show love, and to engage with everyone around us?  What would we do with our relationship with God?

We are fleeting; our days are numbered.  Are we living like it?


© 2016 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.


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