“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.”
Ps 39:4, NLT
Typically, we avoid this level of scrutiny. Life is best enjoyed in a relative ignorance, and we certainly don’t welcome the knowledge that our life is limited. We are like people with a bunch of credit cards, and we impulsively buy whatever we want. But soon you’re gonna have to bay the bills.
But, do we really want to be reminded?
Our time is brief. Fleeting. But the psalmist values the reminder… life has been scrutinized, and counted out. We only have a finite number of days [they are counted out] and then we must say ‘good-bye’.
You have an expiration date.
I am convinced that we are to be settled on our ‘finiteness’. We are not immortal, nor are we perpetual. Things wind down, and soon they will lay us embalmed and in a casket, and a memorial service will be held in our memory. This will be, more or less, the end of us. But we will go on.
Your life will end, and there is nothing you can do about it. Let it unfold, and take its lumps. You really do not have a choice. There is a limit to our living on this terrestrial ball. We can make no further advance here. It is finished.
The verse speaks of an eagerness to know one’s limits. Tell me, remind me, how short it all is. I want you to tell me, where the end is, so I can live my life in a response to the truth. I want to respond to reality, whatever that may be.
We must calmly accept the end of our time here on earth. We can’t deceive ourselves. We need to welcome the intrusion of a finish line. Let us live, men and women, in a full understanding of our limits. Let us walk in the fear of our God.
“Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.”
Ecclesiastes 12:6-7, The Message Bible