By Marilyn J. Ehle
â€œTeach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.Â Psalm 90:12 (Living Bible)
Do you read the obituaries in your local paper? Lately I find my attention drawn to several sobering issues as I scan this page. First, my heart aches when I read about an infant: â€œBorn yesterday, died today.â€? How devastated must be these parents, grandparents and friends. Expectations of joy have suddenly been replaced with grief. Precious newly purchased baby clothes must be folded with tears and packed away.
Next, I read about equally loved elders who have lived eighty or ninety years and are now gone. These families must soon sort through papers, clothing and long-stored memorabiliaâ€”often with tears but perhaps also with gentle smiles as days in the distant past are recalled.
Perhaps most jarring are the paragraphs that detail the sudden death of a person in the prime of life. Too often in our scarred world these deaths occur because of senseless violence or tragic accidents. It is during this reading that the psalmistâ€™s words vividly leap to mind: Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases thusly: Teach us to live wisely and well.
If I knew that my obituary would be written tomorrow, would I change the activities of today? Would I alter my attitude toward todayâ€™s activities? Would I allow petty disagreements to linger? Would I harbor ill-will based on incomplete truth? Facts as well as experience teach us that life is short but we too often live as though that obituary will never be written.
Lord, help me live each day with inner joy and a â€œclean slateâ€? regarding my relationship both with you and with others.
What do you need to do to make today a fresh start? Perhaps you will want to write a note of apology or gratitude. Make it a practice to enter each new day with a cleansed heart.
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Marilyn Ehle has worked closely with businesswomen in the USA setting up and participating in luncheons and discussion groups which focused on issues pertinent to today’s employed woman.
A writer, she writes devotionals for Thoughts About GodÂ and Christian Women Today