Today's devotion from Psalms 38 and 39.
David wants to guard his ways. He wants to prevent himself from sinning with his tongue, from speaking out of turn in front of the wicked. But that wasn't all. He kept silent, and didn't speak good. Silence was not the answer. Pain intensified in his life. His heart grew hot within him. What was wrong?
David was feeling the weight of his mortality.
As I write these words, I am nearing the celebration of another birthday. Though I am not yet 40 years old, I am inching ever closer. I've noticed things that are starting to sting a bit. I realize that the professional athletes I admire are retired by my age. I am beginning to get a sense of the truth that, while my future is ever before me, the horizon is narrowing. I no longer feel as though anything is possible for me. I'm beginning to grapple with my limitations and wrestle with my own mortality.
Perhaps its the feeling of opportunity slipping away and finality closing in around me, but I can completely understand why so many people are scurrying. They rush to this. They run to that. They double and triple book their calendars trying to get in as much as they can before its too late. "Indeed, they rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them." (Psalm 39:6, CSB)
Maybe my perspective is completely off, but when I think about the two choices David is talking about, only one truly makes sense. First, if you believe this life is all there is, then why would you send yourself to an even earlier grave by living with such stress and anxiety? It doesn't make sense. It's like a child trying to gather all the toys before anyone else can play with them, but before they realize it, play time has passed and no one has played with the toys including themselves.
On the other hand, if we are, "...as an alien, a temporary resident like all (our) ancestors," as David says in Psalm 39:12, why would I be stressed about not having the toys? Neither of those perspectives really explain stress. So, why are we so anxious? All we can really do is make the most of the days we have and search for joy; a joy that can only be found in a meaningful life lived with God.