You have heard the expression, “My life flashed before me!” This morning I had one of those moments. No, it wasn’t a life or death situation. Thanks to modern technology I was able to visually relive a portion of my childhood beginning in 1985 and moving to the early years of my marriage all in two minutes and twenty seconds. Twitter user Jon Erlichman posted a map of the US on a time-lapse video marking the opening and closing of Blockbuster Video stores over a 30 year period. https://twitter.com/JonErlichman/status/1383457845081825285?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1383457845081825285%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnotthebee.com%2Farticle%2Fcray-check-out-this-visualizer-of-the-number-of-blockbuster-stores-in-america-over-30-years
I had forgotten how influential the video rental store was on our nation. The first location was opened on October 19, 1985, in Dallas, TX (Go Cowboys!). At its peak, around December 2004, the company was operating around 5730 locations. In 20 years the company experienced an explosion of growth and basically put all other video stores out of business. In the remaining 10 years of its existence the company witnessed the rise of Netflix and streaming video and could no longer compete. On September 23, 2010, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. By 2014, the last of the company-owned stores had closed. Today, there is only one remaining store located in Bend, Oregon. A documentary was released last year in recognition of the efforts to keep the last Blockbuster open for business. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Blockbuster
Companies come and go but when you see the dynamic effect, the rise and fall of a company that has had an impact on most Americans my age, all in only 2:20 of a visual presentation, it helps bring the passage of time into greater focus. Watching the little dots appear so quickly on the map representing the opening of a dream come true for the owner, the town and movie enthusiasts. And then watching them disappear even quicker as the company approached bankruptcy was heartbreaking to think about all that was so quickly gained and suddenly lost.
Psalm 90:12 reminds us, “Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” (NKJV). Or as the Living Bible puts it, “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.” Life is filled with all kinds of opportunities, but the big question is what will we do with them? Each opportunity of the day presents us with a “take advantage” or a “maybe next time” approach. One way of thinking is living each day as our last, the other attitude is that there’s always tomorrow. As we get older we realize that we might not have as much time as we think, but when will we actually react to this realization?
The Psalmist is not praying to merely count our days, but rather petition that God would teach us to number our days, as if the present one was the last. Most of the things of value in life are based on their limited availability. More of something brings the value down, while less increases the value. The sooner we realize the certain reality of “here today, gone tomorrow” the sooner we will be able to live life to its fullest!
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise” Ephesians 5:15
Serving the Savior,
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