Teach me to number my days

Immo Wegmann via Unsplash

It was true for me over 20 years ago when I wrote the lyrics to a song in anticipation of an upcoming youth retreat. Now, it seems more true than ever. What is the “it”? Well, first the back story…

I was speaking at a youth conference in Orlando, and the theme of my message was the importance of making our lives count for God. One of the points in my message was from Ps. 90:12, where we are encouraged to “number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” As I studied, I began to get a clearer picture of this mandate from scripture. I have been given a span of time in this thing called “my life.” It matters how I manage these days.

As I pondered these thoughts an image came to my mind – one of those hourglass timers.  We have a game that uses one.  As you watch the sand go through that narrow opening, it seems like it will never empty into the bottom half of the glass.  But, it does.  It always does, and with surprising speed, especially when you are playing the game!

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From that point came these lyrics…



How quickly the sands flow through…

The hourglass of our youth…

In a single day, they seem to slip away.

Good intentions come, but so many left undone…

Lord, help me see…the brevity of life.


Teach me to number my days…let me gain a heart of wisdom.

Give me Lord, a passion for Your ways.

Teach me to number my days…so my life will bring You glory.

Help me Lord, let me learn to number my days.


Make me glad for all I have…

The blessings You have given…

In a single day they all could be taken away…

But one thing would remain…

In this world of passing pleasures…

Lord help me to see…my only need is You.

© 1999, Mike Gilland

Now, back to the explanation in the first sentence…the “it” of which I spoke… It is the fact that our lives are passing by much more quickly than we could ever imagine.  Those grains of sand are moving through that narrow opening of life at an alarming pace.  This is true for us all, and we are called by God – to use these precious moments of our lives for His glory.

About the Author

Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers.  In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270.   In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader.  As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.

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