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Wednesday, January 2, 2013
"How To Avoid a Wasted Year"
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12
How many days do you have left? A quite sobering thought indeed, but no one knows for sure how long he will live. However, we are instructed not to fear death as God's children, because death holds no fear for us. This could be the year that you enter that eternal rest, and dwell with Christ forever. Let us put away fearful thoughts of tomorrow, and rejoice that we know Jesus Christ as Saviour. Let us be more fearful of a wasted life than we are of death.
Wasted is defined as: To use, consume, spend, or expend thoughtlessly or carelessly. Of course, no one wants a wasted life, but too often we spend days thoughtlessly or carelessly. This is a sure path to a wasted life.
This is what the psalmist had in mind when he prayed, "So teach us to number our days." The word number is an accounting word that means "to be divided out." He is asking God to teach him how to divide out his days so that he can apply his heart to wisdom. In other words, he is asking for the knowledge of using time properly so that what he has learned can be applied. It is one thing to learn something, and another thing to do it. I've told my wife several times that if I would just apply what I already know, then I would be the best Christian, husband, father, and pastor in the world. For most of us this is true; however, what we know seldom gets applied. One of the key marks of the end times is that people will be "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth"II Tim. 3:7. In Daniel's prophesy, he says of the end times, "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" Dan12:4. Certainly we can see that we live in such a day! Information about anything and everything is at our fingertips (literally), and yet look at how life is lived. We have more broken homes, more bankruptcy, more drug addiction, more abused children, and more ignorance than previous generations. Why? Knowledge is seldom applied.
How can you avoid a wasted year?
Schedule your days.
Prayerfully and purposefully divide your days into time frames that allow you to accomplish the important things. Dwight Eisenhower said, "The urgent is rarely important, and the important is rarely urgent." Take time for the important things. Spend time with God. Take time for your spouse, children, parents, etc. Plan your days so that the main things stay the main things.
2. Focus on becoming.
We often fall into the trap of thinking that if we can just learn a little more about what we want that we will somehow accomplish it. For instance, we may want to be better parents, so we think that if we could learn a little more about parenting, somehow we would be transformed into great parents. Certainly we could all stand to learn a great deal more about about the roles in our lives, but if we would just begin applying what we already know, we would improve drastically! "Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart to understanding" Prov. 22:17. This is simple: listen, learn, and apply. Think of the change in your life if you became what you already know!