My dog, Shadow, is on his last leg. He’s not long for this world. His number is nearly up.
Shadow is, in part, a Lab, and these are known to have hip problems. He has inherited this from his father (or mother?). It’s painful at times watching him struggle to get himself up. Other times, he’s OK and will spring up like a puppy. These must be early signs of “things to come.” We took Shadow for a walk around Cable just the other day. Halfway through he stumbled over something, and his back feet came out from under him. He just laid there for the longest time, looking up with eyes that seemed to say, “Uh, Oh! Now what?”
Shadow, himself, isn’t helping his cause. In addition to the hip troubles (or, perhaps, because of those,) he’s been having troubles waiting until morning for his rest-room activities. I’ve lost count of the number of “presents” he’s left over the past few months. (Ask Vi. I’m certain she’s keeping an exact count.) Each spot on the floor is another step closer to saying goodbye to Shadow.
Shadow will be 13 years old this year. We know that big dogs don’t usually live beyond their “teenage” years. So at our house we’ve been having “the talk.” It’s not easy. How does one know when “it’s time… ?”
Not a one of us can escape the truth that “our days are numbered.” In fact, the Bible says that it is wise to learn to number our days (Psalm 90:12). This month Jeanne Brasmer and I will share another birthday. Like Shadow, I’m not getting any younger. (Just the opposite of Jeanne. She never ages, does she?)
So, what does that mean to “number our days?” That is easier to do in reverse. As I write this, I have been on this planet for 17,519 days. It’s unlikely that I have that many days in my future. But who knows? The truth of this exercise is that, when I begin to “number my days,” I can’t get past “One.” No one is guaranteed tomorrow. (James 4:13-16) So it seems to me that “numbering our days” means to value the time that we have. Don’t waste the time that you have. Wasted minutes add up toward a wasted life. Be wise. Don’t waste your life!
A time is coming, sooner rather than later, when my family will be saying goodbye to Shadow. This is a reminder that all of us face a date when we will say goodbye to the ones we love. Are we ready for that day, when it comes? Are we making the most of the time we have? Are we living every moment of our “now” for Christ and His Kingdom?
Praying for you that you rightly number your days,