Psalm 90 is a beautiful prayer by Moses that includes the line, “Teach us to number our days so we can have a wise heart.”1
I think what it’s saying here is that if we could zoom out, see the beginning and the end, the brevity and finiteness of life, we would be able to better grasp what is really important.
Over the last few years, there have been many changes in my little world. Many of these were changes that we could see coming, like our kids growing up and moving out and starting their adult lives. Some were unexpected, like the death of loved ones or big changes in careers. My life has always had a lot of changes, and I held wide margins for things to change. Living in a new place, doing a new thing, or being around new people are all par for the course for me. But for the most part, I expected the world at large to provide a mostly secure platform for all my personal changes.
The last few years have shown otherwise. We’ve all learned that the world can and does radically change. The feeling of being totally out of control and not really knowing what the parameters are anymore was so disconcerting for me. Too much can change! Too much can be taken away! My soul wasn’t at peace. Hasn’t this been something many of us felt?
The recognition that we’re not in control can be so disturbing. I’ve hovered between dread and panic and finally recognized that I had to adjust my mindsets. I couldn’t live in this tension, and then came the desperation to know what to focus on, and how to see things. I didn’t initially pray in the words of the Psalm noted earlier, but my cry was the same.
This isn’t the only secret to coping with change, but it has been key for me in being able to reframe things that are changing in my life and in the world at large. The perspective of eternity brings clarity to the everyday.
- Psalm 90:12 CEB