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Numbering Our Days.pdf

Numbering Our Days.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY JAMES RUSSELL MILLER D.D.

What is it to number our days ? One way-
is to keep careful record of them. That is a
mathematical numbering. We say we are so
many years old. We note our birthdays. But
that is not the numbering which is meant in the
old time Bible prayer : " Teach us to number
our days." Mere adding of days is not living.
BY JAMES RUSSELL MILLER D.D.

What is it to number our days ? One way-
is to keep careful record of them. That is a
mathematical numbering. We say we are so
many years old. We note our birthdays. But
that is not the numbering which is meant in the
old time Bible prayer : " Teach us to number
our days." Mere adding of days is not living.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 31, 2013
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10/31/2013

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Numbering Our Days.
BY JAMES RUSSELL MILLER D.D.
" They are slipping away — these sweet, swift years,Like a leaf on the current cast,With never a break in the rapid flow ;We watch them as one by one they goInto the beautiful past.One after another we see them passDown the dim-lighted stair ;We hear the sound of their steady treadIn the steps of the centuries long since dead,As beautiful and as fair."What is it to number our days ? One way-is to keep careful record of them. That is amathematical numbering. We say we are somany years old. We note our birthdays. Butthat is not the numbering which is meant in theold time Bible prayer : " Teach us to numberour days." Mere adding of days is not living.There are those whose years leave no blessingin the world, and who gather no growth of good or wisdom into their own hearts as theypass through life. There are people who live310Numbering Our Daysto be seventy years, eighty years, old, whomight as well never have been born.
 
" It is not growing like a tree,In bulk, doth make a man better be;Or standing like an oak, three hundred year,To fall a log at last — dry, bald and sere."Another way of numbering our days is illus-trated by the story of a prisoner. When hefirst entered his cell, he made marks on the wallof all the davs of the sentence he was to serve.Then at the close of each day he would ruboff one mark. He had one day more of prisonlife put in, and there was one day less for himto remain. This process he continued till hehad completed the time of his incarceration.Each one of us every evening has one day moreexpunged from his appointed time on earth.One more day is gone, with its opportunities,its privileges, its duties, its responsibilities — gone beyond recall. We can never get it back to change anything ; to undo any wrong donein it ; to do any omitted duties that belongedto it ; to take any gift or blessing that wasoffered and rejected during the bright hours; toseize any opportunity that came and passed.There is something startling in this thoughtof the irrevocableness of time past. At the3nLife's Byways and Waysidesclose of a day one line more is blotted from thecolumn and gone forever from us. If we havelived the day well, it is all right. Days that gofrom us filled with true, sweet, noble living,the little page written all over with pure, white
 
thoughts and records of gentle deeds, need neverbe mourned over. But it is a sad thing to haveto rub out the lines of days of idleness, of un-cleanness, of selfishness, of lost opportunities,of unaccepted privileges and blessings. Suchnumbering of days is not the numbering Moseshad in mind. Such days are lost days." Who's seen my day ?'Tis gone away,Nor left a traceIn any place.If I could only findIts foot-fall in some mind,Some spirit-waters stirredBy wand of deed or word,I should not stand at shadowy eveAnd for my day so grieve and grieve.''The true way of numbering our days is sug-gested in the prayer in the old psalm when weread it in full : " So teach us to number ourdays that we may get us an heart of wisdom."We are so to live our days as they pass that weshall get new wisdom from them. Life's lessons312Numbering Our Dayscannot all be learned from books. The teachingsmay be set down in books, but it is only inactual living that we can learn them. For ex-ample, patience. A book or a teacher may tellus very clearly what patience is, what it does,how it bears itself amid life's frictions ; butlearning all this will not make us patient. Wemust get our patience in the school of life.

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