By Rev Ivan Neish
I wonder if any of you are, like me, intrigued with dates and numbers. Perhaps you are not that sad, but I often find myself comparing what my parents were like when they were the age I am now. I occasionally announce something in this regard which I think is extremely fascinating, only to be greeted by puzzled looks of indifference.
Can you imagine my surprise and amazement when in my calculations I discovered that on the day my son was to be married recently, I would be exactly the same age, to the day, that my late father was when I got married. I was almost beside myself with excitement!
My first thought was one of delight at this coincidence, but my second was one of concern, because I remember thinking that my father seemed quite old when we got married, which almost certainly means that others will consider that I am now in that same category.
All this reminds me of the increasing rate at which time seems to pass in later life, even though the clock ticks at the same speed every minute of every day. It is good for us to remember that we need to value each day that we have and use to the full the years that we are given.
The Bible seems to encourage my interest when it exhorts us to ‘number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ (Ps.90v12) What will it mean for us to be wise in the light of our swiftly passing lives? According to God, wisdom begins with the ‘fear of the Lord’ (Ps.11v10), which means to give Him that rightful place of supremacy in our lives, making Him the desire of our hearts and the object of our faith, love, service and loyalty.
Our loyalty to Him can be expressed in things like raising our children, doing our work, relaxing, and spending time with our friends, as well as in worship, prayer, and the study of God’s word. It can include a word of encouragement or an act of kindness to someone we know or someone we have never met before and may never see again. It gives a special dimension to all of life, and can make even the smallest gesture something of great significance.