Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NLT
“Hey, Pop, look at these three books I got from school. You want to let’s read them?”
Before I could think, I said, “Not right now. Pop’s busy.”
Then I thought better of my answer. He might be gone home by the time I finished my work. The day had been long and busy. Two times during the week, I had missed my planning period, which had put me behind on grading papers, making lesson plans, and doing other things I normally have done by the time I leave school. So my work came home with me.
When I told him, “No,” I could see and hear his disappointment. He slouched from the room. I quickly called him back. “Come on, buddy, we’ll read them now.” The smile on his face told the story.
Being familiar with so many kids who hate to read, I sure didn’t want to extinguish the love he had for it. He pulled his three small books from a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and hopped onto my lap. Several of the words in each sentence were small words he could read on his own. A picture accompanied the larger word. When he didn’t know a word, we sounded out the phonics I had taught him over the summer. Excitement covered his face when he got it right.
After we finished the first book, he retrieved the second … and then the third. What I thought I didn’t have time for only took about ten minutes, and doing it made my oldest grandson the happiest little boy in the world.
When we finished our reading time, I realized what I had to do wasn’t that urgent at all. The psalmist also recognized the brevity of life and wanted wisdom from God to live what days he had.
In my short years on this earth, I don’t have time to do everything I want to do or everything everybody else wants me to do. All I have time for is what God wants me to do. Just beneath loving Him with my entire being and carrying out His plan is loving my family and spending time with them.
I remind myself often that these grandchildren who want so much of my time now will soon be middle schoolers, teens, and adults whose lives will get busy. When this happens, other people and other things will become more important than I am. So I enjoy what little time I have with them now.
Life is brief, and some of the things that seem important aren’t that important at all. Don’t let the urgent crowd out the important in your life.
Prayer: Father, give us the wisdom to distinguish the urgent from the important.
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