LIVING LIFE BACKWARD
(Psa 90:10) The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (Psa 90:12) So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
My dad used to film us kids doing things, and then he would play it backward and we would laugh our heads off. Running around the bases in Little League, or the best was diving off a diving board. That might be hilarious on video, but in real life it’s the best way to live.
Psalm 90 is a special psalm written by Moses. He first declares the eternality of God: (Psa 90:2) Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. He then goes on to speak of the shortness of man’s life and how it would be best to tell yourself you only have so long to live, and to live it wisely.
That is so true, isn’t it? As we get older we find that time now flies by, whereas when we were kids we were basically clock-watchers watching time go by. Now we know that time is so valuable. We can’t pause it, and once it is spent it is gone forever. We talk so much about preserving the precious resources of the earth, but the greatest asset we have in this life is time, and the right use of it. That’s why you have to live life backwards!
Living life backwards means you look forward to the end of your short life and live life with wisdom toward that end: (Eph 5:15-16) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. It makes you live life with purpose, and helps you set goals toward reaching your future. It causes you to look up and ask the Lord what He has planned for you and then ask for guidance toward that end. Then you can live confidently, knowing that everything is working toward a purposeful finish: (Phil 3:14) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
So, I wonder, where did Moses forge this attitude? His life was lived in thirds. He spent the first third thinking he was somebody. The next third he learned he was nobody. Then the last third of his life he discovered he was just anybody God could use. Perhaps it was in this last phase of leading Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land that he saw the preciousness of life and wrote about it to encourage people of any age.
I like to see life as an hourglass of sand falling grain by grain. If you give yourself an hour to do something, you think you have so much time. But toward the end you know you have to sharpen your focus because it’s almost over. It’s almost over, saints. Let’s live for Jesus!