Is it going to take luck or the proper alignment of the stars, winning the lotto, coincidences, or someone else changing? No, none of those will make 2018, except maybe the last one. Things like making some personal changes, better organization or a stronger spiritual life are more likely to produce a better 2018.
In Psalm 90:12 we read, “Teach us to number our days that we may use them wisely.” Why would it be helpful to number our days? This simply reminds us that we don’t have unlimited time to accomplish the things we want to accomplish. When preparing for retirement one of the first questions asked usually deals with is, “How much time do you have left?” According to research and statistics, if you retire at 65 right now, are married, are reasonably healthy, and middle class or above, there is a 90% chance you will live to be 95 years old. Other things to obviously consider: accidents, genetics, and a nuclear war! This psalm says if we keep the idea of the limited time that we have on this earth it will help us use them wisely. This wisdom is expressed in a few other proverbs. Proverbs 13:16. “A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it.” Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” These scriptures are talking about making plans for our future and living intentionally instead of walking through life and letting stuff just happen. Even if we can’t think of numbering 30 or more years, how about one year at a time? We are already a week or two into the New Year, we only have about 350 days left in 2018. What kind of plans are we making so that 2018 is better than 2017? What goals do we have for this year? Have we written them down?
Without goals, you will have way too many regrets as you get older. We all have mistakes we have made in the past, but we don’t want to get to the end of the race and look back to a life of regrets. Here is a list of some of the top things old people regret as they come to their end:
1. Not taking more risks, especially when it came to pursuing dreams. The number one regret that people have on their death beds is that they were never brave enough to take that risk to pursue their dreams, but settled for what others expected of them. They regretted not taking responsibility for their choices.
- 2. Not taking more time to enjoy and develop family and friend relationships. In almost EVERY male the common thread here was that they worked too much and spent too much time and energy pursuing their careers and as a result neglected family and friends. Here is a hint, if you are working late regularly, it will cost you! If you have unfinished work at the end of the day, go home on time and come in early the next day. The key here is balance. We all have to work but we need to know when to stop! And one more thing, when around family and friends, turn off the smartphone!
Even though we have goals, we need to always remember that our lives are in God’s hands. Proverbs 16:9. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” As we make our goals, we need to keep our hearts open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit and submitted to His will. We may have a goal that we are pursuing and somewhere along the line, God may have something else for us to do. Remember that He sees the beginning to the end and be willing to make the changes as we go along. If you don’t want to live a life of regrets, ask God to help you ‘number your days,” so we use them wisely. Making goals that will challenge us and make us better people will help us to use our days wisely.