My wife Brenda and I have a great tradition. Every year we take an anniversary trip where one person plans the trip and keeps it a secret from the other one. Yep, she’s quite a sport!

I planned the 11th anniversary trip this September.  We went to Vancouver, British Columbia. It was an absolute blast! Don’t we look happy?

I start with that story because on the trip I had what I like to call a Psalm 90:12 moment.

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90:12 moments for me are brief moments of complete clarity.

People Matter Most

I am a busy person by nature. I enjoy getting things done. As a result, my mind is always full of details, next steps, to-do lists, etc. In the hustle and bustle of a day, I be so focused on what needs to be done that I miss what is most important. Namely people.

The last morning of our trip Brenda and I lingered on the deck of our Vancouver condo and exchanged anniversary cards that expressed how thankful we were to have each other. Soon after, Brenda left to start packing her bags while I stayed on the deck and had my Psalm 90:12 moment.

These moments can come upon me at random times and in many ways.  Sometimes it’s while watching a sunset, sometimes it’s during a worship song, sometimes it’s a powerful scene in a movie, sometimes it’s after receiving a call that someone is ill or has died. However it comes, it soberly reminds me that life is short and that people matter most.

Brevity of Life

Maybe Moses, the author of Psalm 90, was a task-focused leader like me and prayed this prayer often. I certainly know I need to do so. It’s good for me to remember that life is short.

It reminds me to make the most of every relationship God has given me, even to prioritize them. It reminds me that projects and ministry “work” are less important than people. In this way, considering the brevity of life helps me enjoy each new day and be grateful for all God has given me.

Pondering the brevity of life helps me live every moment with gratitude and joy, rejoicing with and in the people God has put in my life.

New Creation

Numbering my days also reminds me that eternity is coming. Jesus is coming back and He will create a new heaven and a new earth where those who have put their faith in Him will live with Him and with each other forever.

It reminds me that the relationships I have during my few days on earth can literally change eternity. It reminds me to let my life impact others in a positive way, and eternal way. It reminds me that I should always consider others’ needs above my own.

In this way, brevity of life does not make me want to “get all I can” out of this life, it makes me want to “give all I can” for the next life.

Justin Christopher is the national campus director for Campus Renewal Ministries and the author of Campus Renewal: A Practical Plan for Uniting Campus Ministries in Prayer and Mission. He facilitates CRM’s Partnering Campus Project and also gives leadership to the Campus House of Prayer and the missional community movement at the University of Texas.