number your days

TIME magazine recently reported on Bryan Johnson, “a centi-millionaire tech entrepreneur who has spent most of the last three years in pursuit of a singular goal: don’t die.” Moses already dealt with this issue in Psalm 90, however. The fact is, Mr. Johnson, or you, are dust and return to dust. You are swept away like a flood, or like a dream, like grass that withers and dies. Your time in this world won’t last forever; no one’s does. From Charlie who lives to 109 or the uncle who lives to 93 or the baby who dies in stillbirth, we all come to an end here. So will Bryan Johnson. Maybe you get 70 or 80 years, maybe not, but the years are soon gone. How aware are you of your own mortality today? Maybe we should let Mr. Johnson know.

This is very different from who God is. Moses also writes in Psalm 90 about the transcendence, the bigness and vastness of God, the eternity of God. He is from “everlasting to everlasting.” He is our dwelling place in ALL generations, from then to today and beyond. Even before He created the mountains, earth, and world, He was there. As Job said in 36:26, “Behold, God is great; the number of his years is unsearchable.” John of Damascus said, “God is without beginning, without end, eternal and everlasting.” Bryan Johnson will never achieve this.

How should we respond to this eternal God? How should Mr. Johnson respond? How should you? Moses asks, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Each day you have is precious; what should you do with it? Are you satisfied in the morning with His steadfast love? Are you rejoicing in Him and glad all your days? Are you seeing Him work in His glorious power? Are you working to serve Him all your days, as many as you have? Paul wrote about these same issues in Colossians 4:2-5, to “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving,” and to “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” He told the Ephesians in 5:15-17, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Unlike Bryan Johnson, pastor Andrew Roycroft knows his time is limited. He writes, “Making the most of things calls for us to call to mind the true dimensions of our lives: how short their span and how long their reach. It calls for us to live consciously and carefully with Christ’s honor, his kingdom, and a legacy of love for him and his word constantly in our minds. It is not possible for us to live any longer than our ordained number of days, but it is possible to live so well for Jesus that our remainder is small when we lie on our death bed, and our legacy rich for generations to come.” Amen.