Summary: Life is short so make God’s best of it.
Make Your Life Count
Focus: Life is short so make God’s best of it.
Function: The listener will make an assessment of their lives to re-align priorities as needed.
Most of us don’t like to see money wasted. If someone inherits hundreds of thousands of dollars and blows it all in a few months or years, we think that’s irresponsible.
Jean-Philippe Bryk is a 43-year-old with a wife and two children. In 1995 he entered his local casino for the first time, just for fun, and won [about C$ 2000]. Since then he has lost about 1 million dollars. He says, "I neglected my family and friends. I lied to them and used them to get money. I blew my mother’s inheritance. I lied to the banks. You do everything, anything, to get your fix." He’s now suing the casino for their responsibility.
It’s a shame all of that happens and I think governments are partly to blame as well. The truth for this man, however, is that his complusion has thrown his life way out of balance. In wasting his money, he has also wasted part of his life.
You see, each of us has something much much much more valuable than a million dollars. We have time. Ask most people dying of cancer whether they’d rather have a million dollars or time. They’d rather have what you’ve got.
You may have much or little. But even if you have a week, you have more than some people. How do you keep from gambling your time away?
A Nike commercial caption went, "Life is short! Just do it!" The question is, "What is ’it’?" If "it" is just bouncing around in new shoes, that doesn’t seem like much.
The Psalm we’ll look at today could have a caption something like Nike’s. But it might say, "Life is short, do it right."
It’s the only psalm attributed to Moses. He lived long but had some really hard experiences. In fact this is a lament -- things have not been going so good. It may well have been written during the desert years before he took on leadership. It may be a mid-life psalm. How did he turn it around to make his life count?
The first verses of the the psalm teach us to
1. Back up For a God-Perspective
Look in your Bibles at [vv 1-2]. If you want to find out what to do with your time, look to the one who is not time-bound. God is not a recent invention --he’s been there from forever and will be around forever.
One reason I think people like the mountains is they seem old and steady -- something not easily removed. Yet God pre-dates them all.
If you are a believer, your home rests in the arms of God, not on this earth. Still, most of us rather enjoy it here. But C.S. Lewis has a timely reminder, "Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home."
God is your true retreat. So when you ask "what is ’it’ I should be doing?", the first step is to back up. Look through the eyes of the One who started it all.
As soon as we do that, little stuff matters less. Things that touch the clock of eternity matter most. Does it matter that much if I make this or that business decision? Do I need to worry so much about the impressions I make on others? Does it really matter if I buy Ford or Chrysler, Coke or Pepsi, Gap or American Eagle? Is that movie so important to watch or are there other things that matter more?
That leads us to another principle:
2. Remember, Life is Short
Do you remember everything that happened to you yesterday? What you ate? Who you talked to? Every word you said? Not likely. [vv. 3-5]
Humans are limited. Our lives on earth have a morning, a noon and an evening. We tend not to think about it until about noon of life. Then you have a mid-life crisis!
There’s a site on the internet called deathclock.com. You can enter your date of birth, whether you smoke, your body health and so on. It will give you a calculation of your life expectancy. Then you click on the screen. Since the time I did this over a week ago, I’ve used up about a million seconds.
Unless Jesus comes, we’ll each end up with a gravestone bearing our name.
That should get each of us thinking just a little, "What on earth am I here for? How will I make the best of the time I have left?"
For some this probably seems like a frivolous question. Talk about death to a child and she says, "Die? What’s that?" To a teenager, and he says, "Yeah right, not in my lifetime." The twenty something says, "Sure, some day." The forty crowd says, "Yikes it’s true, I’m already at half time." Fifteen years later there’s more peace for those with faith, "That’s OK, I can still live with purpose." When you’re old and your body is failing you may say, "With faith in God, death is my friend." Vance Havner once said, "The hope of dying is the only thing that keeps me alive."