By Chaplain (Maj.) Clark Sneed
Special to GUIDON
In Psalm 90, a prayer of Moses, the psalmist writes, “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”
Life is short, so it is important to spend it well. It is wise to make the most of every day, while also taking strategic time to rest.
What consumes your day?
There is a great line in the 1962 movie “The Music Man.”
A traveling salesman warns the woman he loves that, “If you keep piling up tomorrows, one day you are going to wake up with a bunch of empty yesterdays.”
We rarely do what we keep putting off. Those yesterdays don’t come back.
Children grow up. Loved ones die. Fortunes come and go. Health gradually declines. Make plans now, so your yesterdays, rather than being empty, will be full of cherished memories with those you love most.
Then, in the midst of making all of those great memories, plan some time to rest.
Scriptures teach that God made all that exists in six days, and then took a day to rest. God was not tired; he led by example. My “rest” happens in the garden. Though I’m a lousy gardener, I still love working with the soil.
Margaret Roach, who is a very good gardener, wrote, “It is no wonder so much of gardening is done on one’s knees… horticulture is a wildly humbling way to pass one’s days on Earth.”
She added, “the garden is where there’s no pretending that living things don’t die.” The English word “humble” even comes from the Latin word for soil, humus.
The garden, and nature in general, reminds me of my place in God’s creation — an eternal soul occupying a very temporal body.
This little thought is far from depressing — it’s a healthy, if humbling, reminder to make the most of every day.
Resist the temptation to pile up your tomorrows. Pour into your loved ones today. Along the way, take abundant, regular time to rest.
Sometimes doing nothing can make you very wise.
Grant yourself permission to reset and reflect deeply, silently.
Like Moses, learn to number your days, that you may apply your heart to wisdom.
(Editor’s note: Sneed is the regimental chaplain for the U.S. Army Engineer School.)