1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. . . .
4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night. . . .
God is timeless. Never aging, never changing, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
As for me, the older I get, the faster time flies. Yesterday I was twenty-five. Today I'm more than double that. And I realize I have less time remaining, certainly, than I've had so far.
You may not be where I am yet. Trust me, you will be tomorrow, or at least the day after. And the psalmist reminds both of us not to let ourselves be surprised by the passing of time, but to appreciate it, count it, revel in it, enjoy it, and above all live in it to the full.
When I was a kid, I thoroughly enjoyed science fiction stories that gave a hint of what life would be like in The Future. We'd scoot around in the sky in atomic-powered car-jets, or even better, jet packs right on our backs. Our homes would be filled with robotic conveniences, so that we'd wake up in the morning and our breakfast would be served automatically. Of course, peace would reign throughout the world--we just had pesky aliens to deal with. I can remember as a kid figuring out how old I would be when that magic and futuristic year 2000 arrived--and it sounded so old. Would I even still be alive?
Sometimes I feel disappointed that we have largely still not risen above gas-powered cars with rubber tires on roads. And yet the other day I had to laugh as I drank my coffee that made itself automatically just before I woke up, then programmed my combination washer/dryer unit to wait a few hours, then wash and dry and tumble my clothes until I got home from work, and meanwhile my robotic little vacuum cleaner was programmed to scoot around like a hockey puck on steroids for a couple of hours while I was out. Astonishing! I was living in the future I had dreamed of as a boy!
And that's not to mention the fact that I can bring the whole world into my home via the internet--futuristic dreams marveled over when I was just a kid and we could get only three channels on our massive family TV set. I can still recall when a new station started up--the local public broadcasting outlet. We'd sit around for hours watching programs about origami and yoga just because they were on this brand new channel.
10 The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. . . .
12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart. . . .
Time flies indeed, and before we know it, the future can become the past and our days are done. The psalmist reminds us to count our days, to treasure the time God gives us. Let's not fritter our life away with mundane distractions. Let's rather seek to discover and use our gifts for the common good, finding fulfillment in every moment God gives us.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
That may be the key right there. To start out each morning realizing and appreciating God's steadfast love for us. Understanding that God is there, has always been there, will always be there, above it all, providing all we need for the most fantastically fulfilling life we could ever imagine.
Start your day with that reminder. Then strap on your jet pack and see where God takes you.
[Adapted from Connected: You and God in the Psalms, Morehouse Publishing.]