On my morning “commute” (OK, it’s only 3 minutes), I often listen to NPR. Today, I heard a short piece about the passing of political columnist David Broder. Honestly, I had no idea of who he was, but the piece really caught my attention. In just 30 seconds, an entire life was summed up: he took time to talk to people, he listened to them, and he shared what he learned. Then, it was on to an infomercial about combating obesity.
Now that the actuaries tell me I’m half-dead, segments like this grab my attention in a way they didn’t ten years ago. I find myself thinking about the contribution God wants me to make, and how I can take small steps toward that today.
In a culture that encourages us to stay insanely busy, and to ignore time, the words of Moses from Psalm 90 (Moses’ only psalm) are powerful. “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures… they quickly pass, and we fly away.” Since life is so short, we should ask God to help us remember that as we live: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
How are you living? We shouldn’t be morbid about it, but as you study, interact with classmates, colleagues and patients, do you live with a sense that this life is momentary?
Although what we have to offer may seem small, we can make a big difference that lasts far beyond our lifetime. The good news is that, ultimately, our legacies rest with the God who made us. The end of Moses’ prayer in Psalm 90 once again gives us guidance in our own prayers:
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.”