“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12 NLT
We are all guilty of it. We take life for granted. We think we will live forever and we make plans for what we think our future holds. We base our decisions on what we desire for ourselves. We develop a lived out sense of hope, that our best interests will come first.
In Luke 12, The Rich Fool was schooled in the effects of self-centered thinking. He made plans to expand his riches because of his abundance. He had no consideration for the brevity of life. His life was demanded of him that night as he lay in bed dreaming of the easiness of life that was to come because of his own ingenuity.
James, in his epistle, cautions the believer about boasting about tomorrow. He calls life, “…a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes…”(4:14b NIV). All our plans should be predicated on “…if it is the Lord’s will…”(4:15a NIV). Making plans that concern our own well-being are futile without God’s direction in mind.
Psalm 90 is a prayer Moses is giving to God. The Israelites have little consideration for their fleeting lives. All they care to do is live in their sins. Moses prays for God to teach them to consider how short life is (v12NLT). God desires them to remember His goodness and turn away from their secret sins that are bringing His wrath and their inevitable death.
People are born, people die. I will die someday. You will die someday. So, how are you and I living right now? Are we living our lives like the rich fool, with eyes set on making plans for our prosperous future? Maybe we aren’t as ambitious. Perhaps we only plan for what tomorrow may hold. Even then, we are being admonished for our over preparedness. Is God, then, against making plans?
We are human. We have a natural desire to want to take control of things. We want them to run smoothly. So we plan. If our life is not under control, we get anxious. We can’t breathe and make rash decisions that affect our lives for the worse. God wants to keep us from the anxiety. He desires to keep us from those ill-fated hurried decisions we make. It’s okay to plan for our future. Just as long as we know that the outcome is all in His hands.
When we decide to live our lives in an “If it is the Lord’s will” mindset, then we are choosing to put Him first. We come to realize that he gave us this life. He gave us a preset number of days on earth, so how are we going to spend those days? Wallowing in our sin, like the Israelites? Planning for the future that isn’t there, like the rich fool? Or are we going to make each choice with consideration of God’s direction? For only He can give us the wisdom to make the most of each brief moment.