Teach Us to Number Our Days


“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom,” Psalm 90:12.

(All the stats in this post is from a blog post by Tim Urban at waitbutwhy.com. You can find the whole post here. Due to language in the original post I posted the relevant information here.)

This is your life visually. Tim Urban’s pictures are powerful as he puts, all in one hauntingly small space, dots representing every year of a 90-year-old life.


Then by months:


Then by weeks:


Urban writes:

“even a lucky person who lives to 90 will have no problem fitting every day in their life on one sheet of paper.

Instead of measuring your life in units of time, you can measure it in activities or events. To use myself as an example:

I’m 34, so let’s be super optimistic and say I’ll be hanging around drawing stick figures till I’m 90.1 If so, I have a little under 60 winters left:”


“And maybe around 60 superbowls left:”


Urban then states that if you read 5 books a year and live to be 90 you must choose only 300 of the infinite number of books out there to read. You’ll never know what is in the rest of them:


“There have been eight US presidential elections during my lifetime and about 15 to go. I’ve seen five presidents in office and if that rate continues, I’ll see about nine more.”


Urban then turns his focus to the important topic of relationships.

I’ve been thinking about my parents, who are in their mid-60s. During my first 18 years, I spent some time with my parents during at least 90% of my days. But since heading off to college and then later moving out of Boston, I’ve probably seen them an average of only five times a year each, for an average of maybe two days each time. 10 days a year. About 3% of the days I spent with them each year of my childhood.

Being in their mid-60s, let’s continue to be super optimistic and say I’m one of the incredibly lucky people to have both parents alive into my 60s. That would give us about 30 more years of coexistence. If the ten days a year thing holds, that’s 300 days left to hang with mom and dad. Less time than I spent with them in any one of my 18 childhood years.

When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life. If I lay out the total days I’ll ever spend with each of my parents—assuming I’m as lucky as can be—this becomes starkly clear:


It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.”

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12.

Author and radio broadcaster, Steve Brown, said, “As influential and productive as Jesus was, we all have something in common with him. We all have 24 hours in a day just as he did.” Surely none of us will accomplish what Jesus did in terms of magnitude, and all we accomplish is “from him, through him and to him” (Romans 11:36). Yet, God is clear in his word that we are to be wise stewards of every day and hour we have.

What is it that you will care about a million years into eternity? Spend time pursuing such things. What will add the most to your walk with Christ, family, relationships? Do those things. Our time is limited and none of us are even guaranteed to live to 90. So let us number our days and get a heart of wisdom that will lead us to make the most of every hour.

Published by Mike


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