Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "He Keeps Me Singing"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 90:10-14 – We live for seventy years or so (with luck we might make it to eighty), and what do we have to show for it? Trouble. Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard. Who can make sense of such rage, such anger against the very ones who fear you? Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! Come back, God — how long do we have to wait? — and treat your servants with kindness for a change. Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we'll skip and dance all the day long. (MSG)
Seventy years ago today, I entered this life. The expectation at that time was that a good and long life would span 70 years, and maybe, just maybe, I might see 80.
Her majesty was just beginning her reign, acceding to the throne on February 6, 1952, a couple of weeks after my birth.
When I was fifteen, the Beatles put out "When I'm 64", and that was such a distant time, so it was fun to sing along: "When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now, will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?" Well, I got my bottle of wine at 64, and I hope for more turning 70.
It has been an amazing journey thus far. I thank God, not just for the years that I've lived but for the life that I have led. The crucial part of today's psalm is not the duration of the life that we live but the quality of that life lived under the guidance of God. "Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!"
Okay, 70 marks a moment to reflect on what has been and what is yet to come. Yes, retirement has come, but it has simply opened more doors, offered new challenges, and presented new opportunities to serve our Saviour.
The Queen is still on her throne, the Beatles' new Get Back documentary was released at the end of last year, and I am still finding ways to "live wisely and well".
Wherever you are on your journey, listen to the promise that will guide you and help you to live wisely and well — the promise of Jesus, Who said, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10b NRSV) Life is not "Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard." Life is walking with the One Who says, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live." (John 11:25 NRSV) So take the promise to heart, and live life to the full, giving thanks to God through Jesus Christ.
Prayer: You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of You. My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long. Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent. Amen. (Psalm 71:5-6,8-9 NRSV)