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The Clock Watcher

Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be.

Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more.

My life is no longer than my hand!

My whole lifetime is but a moment to You.

Proud man! Frail as breath! A shadow!

And all his busy rushing ends in nothing.

Psalm 39:4-5 (TLB)

Teach us to number our days and

recognize how few they are;

help us to spend them as we should.

Psalm 90:12 (TLB)

In the small town where we used to live there is a very impressive sports complex–a beautiful field house, the best running tracks, football field, comfortable (?) bleachers. It is really something to see. They honored the most philanthropic person–the largest donor for the project–by naming the field after him. The problem is that no one remembers today just who that man was. You ask the athletes who spend the majority of their time at the field and they can’t tell you. That the man donated his money to building this complex is great. I’m not denigrating that. I’m just saying that we need to realize that our time here on Planet Earth begins and ends so quickly–we are here today and gone tomorrow and soon to be forgotten’and God told us that it would be this way didn’t He? [1]

I believe that one of His purposes in cautioning us to count our days is to impress us with doing those things that last–and that would be those things that manifest love to the people in our circle. He planted within all of us this insatiable need for love–so, send flowers while they can still appreciate them. A wreath for the casket is thoughtful, but she doesn’t know you sent it. Be extravagant with hugs and kisses. Tell him you love him and appreciate all he has done for you while he is still lucid and can still hear you. There will come that time when he can’t or won’t. “All of our busy rushing” comes to an abrupt end or just fades away with backaches, leg cramps, low energy levels, or birthdays.

How I wish I could call Mother and Dad just one more time–but weeks would go by between calls and months between visits while they were here. If I could just rub my chin in his stubby hair again while he is sitting in my lap. But, there were more important things to do. There’s supper to fix and washing to do and the garden to weed and Sunday School class members to call and the Church attendance drive coming up and we have decided to paint our classroom and the chairs–so many things to do! Things that “people” will see and know that I have done! Calls that may result in more people coming to class. Rushing here and there–convincing myself that this is what I’m supposed to be about and reveling in the words, “Anabel, you just amaze me with all that you do!”.

Jesus emphasized one commandment’that should communicate to us how important that one commandment is! He was asked directly, “Which of all Your commandments should we consider to be the most important?” He tells parables about it [2]–cautions us to carefully guard it, [3] and gives instructions as to just what carrying out this one commandment brings into our lives. [4] He said, [5] “The first and greatest’most important’commandment is to love God with everything you have. The second greatest (most important) is very much like the first’love people, show them that you love them, tell them that you love them, be sure that they know you love them.” Yes, there are other commandments, but this is the first and most important. And first in line to receive this overt love should be our family.

So, we implore: Lord teach us to number our days’give us the wisdom to realize just how few we have’and help us spend those few days as we should.

Show us, tell us, and empower us. Only You can do that, Lord.

But now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

but the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13:13

[1] Psalm 103:15-16

[2] Luke 15:11-24

[3] I John 4:7

[4] I Corinthians 13

[5] Matthew 22:36-40

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.