Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. (Psalm 90:12 TLB)
"As we should" are pretty powerful words, aren't they? They are also "telling" words, for many of us would probably echo back, "Not as we would", for we have chosen a much different path than the one we "should" have taken! Emerson told us, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Too many times we have followed his advice and found ourselves blazing a new trail that perhaps we'd have been much better off to have never explored! Someone once said that choosing a path means we abandon some other path - I think the rest of the saying implies that the abandoning of one may mean it is abandoned forever.
We all have many choices of the paths we take each and every day. The paths may be well-worn by us by now, requiring us some effort to abandon because the grooves we have worn act more like a pit than a path! The choice to deviate from any path we have chosen as a "would take" path rather than a "should take" path opens us up to great perils based upon that misjudgment. Most disobedience carries some element of obedience - for we know the right path to choose, we just abandon that wise choice for the unwise! We are obeying an inner voice crying louder than another - listening to one over the other can often be our downfall - for the quietest voice is sometimes the hardest to hear, but the clearest on the matter at hand!
When we become "seasoned" in our choices toward obedience, we find the "should take" paths become more evident to us. What has happened there? We have learned to recognize the wisdom of the few! We have learned that our days are numbered and unwise choices will only eat up those "few days" we are given, sometimes quicker than we might imagine possible. As quickly as those days were given to us, we frittered them away on the "would take" path - losing sometimes days and days of opportunity which could have been ours down the "other path". What occupies our time the most? Would you say those things "fit" in the "should take" if I were smart or the "would take" because I want my own way path?
The "I want my own way" ordeal is real! We probably struggle with feeling sorry for ourselves when we don't get it, create chaos at times when our way isn't being heard, and get really frustrated with constantly being challenged to take any other way but our own. Yet, the man or woman who learns to "number their days" realizes there may be only one opportunity to travel the obedience path. The chance for a "do-over" isn't guaranteed, even though God is pretty gracious to those of us who have needed more than one or two of those "do-over" moments! Obedience isn't accidental - it is learned in listening and in yielding to the "should take" path more and more. That may not be the one we desire the most, but in time, we will find our desires changing little by little until we crave that "should take" path way more than the "would take" one! Just sayin!