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What Will You Do That Will Outlast You?

Each of us is given a measure of time, and how we will use that time to make a difference in this world is up to us.



“The days are long but the years are short” is one of those familiar sayings that has been said to describe motherhood. It can also be relevant for students in school, those who are paying off debt, or a teenager working their first job. One of my first jobs as a teenager was working the deli counter at a local grocery store, and it seemed like time moved much slower once I clocked in compared to when I clocked out. My motto was more like: "the days at work and school are long, but the days of fun and no responsibility are short." 

While the popular saying may be an illustration for how time is a limited commodity, an important question to ask ourselves about our time management is this: What will you do that will outlast you? Each of us is given a measure of time, and how we will use that time to make a difference in this world is up to us. 


“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom" Psalm 90:12


Psalm 90 records a prayer of Moses that acknowledges the limited time that each person receives and what we should do about it. He writes, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom" (vs. 12, NLT). We may be tempted to scan this text and conclude the obvious: life is a vapor; here today, gone tomorrow. However, if we do a bit more study on this verse, there is more to it than proclaiming that life is short. Another translation of this verse reads, “Teach us to number our days,” which gives us a little more insight into the original intent of the verse. “Number our days” does not mean counting our days or tracking each day. It comes from the original Greek word "manah" which can mean pre-ordain, pre-assign, or pre-arrange. In other words, we should have a plan for our days before that day arrives. Growth in effectively stewarding our time leads to growth in wisdom.

I know some people who love to plan their day and are very good at it. Some individuals live or die by the to-do list while others love lists so much that if they made a list of all the things they loved, making a list would be at the top. There are also people who like to wing it in life. It gives them a sense of freedom and creativity while highlighting the valuable strength of adaptability. 



Whether you’re a winger or a planner, it’s important to discover your  answer to the question: "What will you do that will outlast you?" What you do includes what you say, what you build, or who you raise that will outlast you and make a difference. Answering these questions sets you on a path to discover the purpose that God has created you to fulfill. As we take steps of faith towards our purpose, we can identify with Moses by praying this simple prayer:

"Lord teach us to see each day as a gift, help us to fulfill the purpose you’ve created us to fulfill, and lead us to grow in wisdom so that we can be a difference maker."

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