Your way was in the sea, and your paths in the raging waters.

Psalm 77: 19

 

I was reading a newspaper story about a group of men who were among the very best white water kayakers in the world. It discussed the way that one of them went about taking on a set of rapids that were right at the top of the list of the world’s most dangerous. Before he entered the water, he walked along the shore and carefully considered every foot of that section of wildly unpredictable foaming water. He considered his approach to it and his line through every churning and twisting eddy and hole. He knew that once he entered the river he would have neither time nor clarity of vision to think through his reactions. Then, he would have to rely on his experience, skill, and this preparation in order to survive.

 

How many of your days have contained qualities that were similar to this wildly untamed and out of control river? For myself, I’ve certainly known more than a few. One of the biggest challenges that I have seen in handling these days is that, unlike the white water adventure that I was reading about, these times are not usually planned. Instead, they come out of nowhere. I can be enjoying a leisurely raft ride through life with its mild moments of attention-getting turbulence; when, suddenly, the bottom seems to fall out of it all with a jolt that makes may heart fly into my throat and causes my head to spin. This is the nature of living in this world, and these are also times when living in a relationship with Christ is essential to coming out victorious on the other side of the rapids.

 

In order to be ready for these inevitable times of engaging in the ultimate of wild rides, it is important to do just what the white water kayaker did. We should take the time to study the course, to know the dangers, to determine a path, and to meditate on our potential responses. These are all things that the Lord gives to us through continual and deep study of His Word. The raging torrents of my life are ones that others have also navigated, and there is already a road map of righteous thinking and Christ-like actions set out for me to learn from. Additionally, like the expert kayaker, I need to be willing and able to trust in my own instincts while I am in the middle of the course. However, there is a vital difference in what he relies upon and what I have available to me, for my instincts are formed and informed as my trust is placed in the ever present help of the mighty Spirit of Christ who never fails to show me the line and who is already the victor over all that tries to defeat my journey through this world.

 

So teach us to number our days so that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90: 12

 

How many days have you had? A simple bit of math can figure this out; yet, if your life has gone anything like mine, the simple number of them is going to be a frustrating thing to consider, for I have not done nearly enough good with them and have not spent the sort of time that I could have in true worshipful service to God. This accounting would show that I have consumed many of those days in ways that were self-centered or in seeking after things that were safe, comfortable, and within easy reach rather than in trusting the Lord to take me to the heights that His Word promises me I can reach by pursuing His will. The good news in this is that God cares far more about the days that are to come than about what I have done with the ones that are past.

 

So, in preparing to go after today, it seems that the first thing that God desires for me to do is to focus on His instructions for it. When I consider the fact that God has a plan for my life, I am amazed that the Lord of the universe cares so much about something as insignificant as that, but based upon the promise of His Word and upon the things that He has already done, I know that He does care. Also, God is interested in and will be involved with the details of each day, and He already has a workable plan for this day. So, God does want me to look at my life and to count each of the days that I have remaining, but He doesn’t want me to become focused on the finish of my life as the goal. Rather, He wants me to consider each day as His and to dig deep into His Word so that I can understand the Lord’s will as it relates to today.

 

God is showing me that He wants me to count every day of my life as something to be offered to Him in worship, and like the soldier in battle who needs to make every bullet count or the teacher in a classroom who desires to make each word meaningful, the Lord desires for me to make this day one where He is at the center of all that I consider, plan, and do. This is not a matter of priorities, for the Lord doesn’t desire to be a part of a list of the things that are most important to me. It is a matter of the orientation of my entire being. Serving God and making my life one of worship of my Lord and Savior is what counts. Then, I can establish my priorities based upon the eternal wisdom that God writes on my heart.