04 Dec Tic-Toc Goes the Clock
Posted at 09:00h in The Morning JoyRide®
Tic-toc, tic-toc, tic -toc. Besides the occasional slow exhale, those were the only sounds heard in the room. The scene was a normal Tuesday morning prayer meeting. We were spending our usual five minutes in silence preparing our hearts for intercession. It was into this silence the generic round wall clock spoke. No one else in the room may have even heard it chattering away, but I knew it was talking to me.
Every time the hand clicked away another second, it seemed like the tic-toc got louder. Realistically, the clock probably wasn’t any louder than usual. I was just finally quiet enough to hear it. Its message was much shorter than most of mine, but it rang out with a clarity I often spend hours trying to achieve. The message was simple, “Your life is quickly ticking away. What are you doing with it?”
Almost immediately, the twelfth verse of the ninetieth Psalm came to mind. There, Moses penned the words, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I find it fascinating that, somewhere past age 80, Moses was not praying for power or protection. He was asking God to teach him how to count. His concern wasn’t the ability to tally the days he’d lived; what he wanted was to learn how to count the days he had left. His reasoning was simple. He wasn’t asking so he could plan elaborate trips or know how much he would need to save for retirement. No, he wanted to learn how to count so that by preparing to die he could learn how to live.
Like Moses, we all have an invisible, unchangeable expiration date stamped on these bodies of clay. We are all on death’s layaway plan. Every day he’s making payments, every day he’s getting closer to claiming what’s his. We can’t cancel or postpone our meeting. This is one appointment everyone will be on time for. When the buzzer sounds there will be no overtime. When the game is over, win or lose, the score will be unchangeable.
One day–and it may be sooner that we would care to imagine–our entire life will be summed up by nothing more than a dash between two dates. It’s a sobering thought to realize that once our last breath is taken, the dash can’t be undone. No one gets a dateline do-over. As certainly as the first date on our headstone is already written, so the final date is already set in stone. We’re just living on the line.