Numbering our Days

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Happy tax day! Just kidding.

This day often brings to mind the eternal line by Benjamin Franklin:

“…but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Amen.

Today, the former is what concerns me, which I know really brightens up the room and gets you excited to read.

That line by Benjamin Franklin remains so famous because we identify with it. We know most of life isn’t certain, but death and taxes are. We know we get one shot here on earth and when it’s over, it’s over.

We may know that undeniable truth in our hearts, but our lives don’t demonstrate to others that we understand.

In Psalm 90:12, we read:”Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

In other words, we gain wisdom when we truly comprehend that we aren’t going to live forever.

Do we live like we know our days our numbered?

We eat like we’re going to live forever. We treat the earth and it’s resources like they will last forever.

We don’t know the hour when Jesus will return to earth, but maybe we’re speeding up the process. Maybe we’re forcing Jesus’s hand.

“More than twenty years ago, we reached a point known as ‘ecological overshoot,’ and now the stress we’re putting on the planet—to feed our consumption and absorb our waste—requires 1.3 planet Earths to accommodate it,” according to Mark Bittman, the New York Times food writer.

“In other words, our planet needs a year and four months to regenerate the resources we’re gobbling up each year. (We’re going to need two planets’ worth of resources quite soon, and if the entire world lived the average American lifestyle we would need four planet Earths.)”

So, not only are we wearing our bodies out that God created just for us, we’re also wearing out creation. We don’t put enough thought or care into the idea that we’re not leaving this earth in a better place for our children. And, we’re not teaching our kids how to take care of the earth either.

We won’t last forever. The earth won’t last forever if we continue at this rate.

So, what can we do about this? There are changes you go home and make tonight, and they would not only improve your health and most likely your overall life expectancy, but would also help the earth. I’d call that a win-win.

Here are five quick suggestions:

1. Eat less meat. “For a family that usually drives a car 12,000 miles a year, switching from eating red meat and dairy to chicken, fish and eggs just one day a week—in terms of greenhouse gas emissions—is the equivalent of driving 760 miles less a year.” Imagine if you did that twice a week. It doesn’t require that drastic of shift in your eating habits to make a huge difference.

2. Eat better meat. If you eat less meat, you’ll save money and be able to spend on higher quality meat. Eating animals that weren’t stuffed with antibiotics and fed a diet of corn and soy that they weren’t designed for is without a doubt better for you, and better for the environment.

3. Buy more local ingredients. If the average American meal has traveled 1,500 miles, the more local you buy, the more you can cut down on fuel costs for food transportation. And, bonus: you will probably be eating healthier too.

4. Cut down on any foods that are packaged or boxed. Again, you would be contributing to less fuel being used to transport food, which means less fuel polluting the atmosphere. And, that means you would be buying fresh ingredients so that you can…

5. Cook your own food. I’m not blinding you with science here; you know the numerous health benefits to cooking your own food. You control what goes into it. Your health will improve. So will your life expectancy.

As the Psalms remind us, our days our numbered. Once we understand that, we gain a heart of wisdom.

I think the world could use a few more of those.

 

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