This week I’m concluding a sermon series entitled “Treasure the Gifts.” Over the last several weeks Pastor Laura and I have reflected on some of the gifts and blessings we have received over the last year: acknowledging the importance of every person, including those we often overlook; recognizing our need for community; claiming the value of family.
A final gift I invite us to reflect upon and treasure is the gift of life itself.
In our scripture (Psalm 90:1-12) the psalmist recognizes the brevity of life. Life is “like grass that is renewed in the morning; in the evening it fades and withers (vv. 5-6).” “The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty if we are strong; they are soon gone, and we fly away (v 10).” Life on planet earth is short.
Yet the psalmist doesn’t wither in despair. Rather, after acknowledging the brevity of life, the psalmist asks God to “teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart (v12).”
The psalmist prays that recognition of the brevity of life might lead to count and value the gift of every day that he has. Acknowledging our mortality is a step toward wisdom.
In my own life, I have discovered that valuing the gift of each day is a deeply spiritual practice. It forces me to focus upon what is truly important in my life, instead of filling my life with busyness.
One of the gifts of the season of COVID is it has pushed many of us to recognize the brevity of life, to count our days, and focus upon what makes a more meaningful life.
The psalmist says that is the beginning of wisdom. It is a gift that, I believe, God wants us to treasure.