by Edmond Ng
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So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 NAS)Many of us live our lives rushing all the time, and I, like many, am also always running and rushing all my time. I rush to get to work, I rush to complete my assigned work, I rush to meet deadlines, and I rush to get home. Few are the moments I have to pause and catch my breath, and few are the days I can take extended breaks. This is the kind of lifestyle I live by, and I know it is not healthy, a sure sign of an impending breakdown and possibly a prelude to a heart attack.
I am by nature a time conscious man, probably because of my upbringing and because I live by the principle of living each day meaningfully. I am aware of the shortness of a human life, so in desiring to accomplish much while alive, I am always seeking for more time. Then one day God decided to grant me my wish for more time -- time to completely rest from my labor. So rest I did, first in hospital for a surgery, then at home for recovery. All that took place some years ago, and during that one month of rest, I learnt to be still before God and to be at peace. I also leant that in all the haste, I have gained nothing much except in jeopardizing my own health.
When I finally recovered from my illness, my perception of life was somewhat changed. Sadly, however, I soon returned to my rushing game because I was then studying and working at the same time. Now, after many years, although I have completed my studies, I am still learning how to take time to rest without feeling unrest or guilty of wasting away my free time. Maybe I am too conscious about time, or maybe subconsciously I simply cannot live life without a purpose in mind.
Time is one of the greatest barriers in witnessing. The reason why many pre-believers or professed believers are yet unsaved today is probably because of Christians such as I who are always too busy doing things that are necessary, yet not quintessential. Spending time with pre-believers to touch their lives, for example, are important aspects of witnessing which can nurture relationships to help them grow in their faith to desire more of Christ. Not spending meaningful time with pre-believers, on the other hand, can destroy a growing faith and turn them away from drawing nearer to Christ. We must, therefore, as followers of the Lord learn to number our days to present to God a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12), to know when we are to spend time on the more important things, such as the salvation of the yet unsaved, and when to do the needful things that are often less urgent or less important.
The Bible makes it very clear that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Therefore, in order for us to number our days and use our time wisely, we must first have a heart of wisdom. Wisdom, although is more often associated with the mind than the heart, is what God is looking for when it comes to numbering our days to bring Godís salvation to mankind (Psalm 90:12). Only through the sincerity of the heart can pre-believers experience the heart of God and response to Him. God in His wisdom has made everything appropriate in its time, and He has set eternity in the hearts of man so that man will know there is nothing better for them than to rejoice (Ecclesiastes 3:11-12), and to receive Him as Lord and Savior.
Teach us therefore dear Lord to know when to run, when to slowdown and when to stop and rest. Help us to be sensitive to the leading of Your Holy Spirit so that even in our busyness we may not fail to see the more important things in life, especially when it involves one who is yet to receive Your salvation. Lead us Lord in Your wisdom to know how to keep our time in check, to strike a balance between the necessary and the important, that we may not, out of our negligence, cause the loss of lives of those who are yet unsaved.
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