Start the Year with This Devotion

As you plan 2013, how will you use the most precious of God’s gifts—your life and time?

By Scott Walker , Macon, Georgia

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Last night I stopped at a restaurant for dinner. I was alone and brought my datebook to plan for the next day. After ordering, I gazed at the datebook and realized that this year was almost over. I flipped slowly through the pages of past days and weeks and reviewed the last twelve months.

I was amazed to discover all that can happen in a year: I had accepted a new professional position and moved from Texas to Georgia. Beth and I had witnessed the wedding vows of our first child Drew and welcomed our daughter-in-law Katie Alice into our family. Our son Luke had entered the insurance industry, and our daughter Jodi had graduated from Furman University. Somewhere in the middle of all this, I counseled with dozens of students, preached sermons, conducted funerals and wrote a book. These were just the major events; most of my hours were spent in the routines of living: sleeping, eating, exercise, repairing my car, mowing the lawn, preparing our income tax returns, going to movies, and all the other unremarkable events that fill everyone’s days and nights.

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As my food arrived, I realized that the real question confronting me wasn’t, How did I spend last year? but How will I spend the next? How will I use the most precious of God’s gift—life and time?

I can make long lists of things to accomplish and commit myself to New Year’s resolutions. But I really need to do only two things: Love God with all that I am, and love my neighbor as much as I love myself. This is all that really matters.

Lord, keep me from seeing my days as something I own but rather as a gift that comes from You.