Happy 2020! Welcome to the new decade!

In just a few short weeks, we will welcome our third granddaughter. She is the first best gift of this new year and I can’t wait to meet her.

As I anticipate her arrival, my mind wanders around titles changed by her birth. She will be the first great-granddaughter to one, the first granddaughter to another. I pondered that time in the future when I will be a great-grandmother and it makes me smile. It seems a long way off since my oldest grandchild just turned three. And it is.

But, it isn’t.

Time moves so quickly. It wasn’t that long ago that I looked forward to the birth of my first child. This year she will be thirty-one. Another thirty-one years, I will be a great-grandmother…maybe.

I don’t write this to be depressing. Because it isn’t. It’s a reality check for me. I get so caught up in me and what I am doing and am I doing enough and am I doing it right and will it last and who will remember me and ….

When truly, my time here on this earth is short. Psalm 90 reflects on the brevity of life. It is a psalm of Moses, written in the context of desert wanderings and the disobedience of the children of Israel. Moses rightly contrasts God’s holiness with humankind’s frailty. Seen from a New Testament perspective, God’s wrath toward our sin is justified, but his love toward us, shown in Jesus, is guaranteed.

The psalmist says it like this:

Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away…

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

Psalm 90:10, 12

I love the last sentence. Understanding that our life is quite short is a step toward growing in wisdom. And I know I want that.

How does understanding the brevity of life help me grow in wisdom?

Knowing life is brief, I want to live firmly tethered to my identity as a child of God. The amount of money I make, writing a best-seller, seeing my name in lights – all pale when I understand how brief those accomplishments will last. Someone else will be right behind me to take my place.

Knowing life is brief, I want my focus to be on people. Living vulnerably, taking a chance, believing the best are qualities I desire to possess.

Knowing life is brief, I want to smile more, frown less; hope more, worry less; hug a friend, help a stranger; eat less, enjoy it more; encourage first, criticize never; serve with joy; work hard, sleep deeply, rest well; listen intently, love freely!

Knowing life is brief, I want to hold my grand babies, enjoy my children and love life. I won’t wait until tomorrow to say, “I love you!” “I’m proud of you!” “You’re the best!”

Knowing life is brief, I want to give every day my all even when “all” doesn’t seem like much. And then I want to give myself grace to be okay about that.

What does it mean to you that life is brief? How does understanding brevity make you more wise?

Until next time…

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

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