Presently, there are about 1,419 operational satellites orbiting the earth (another 2,837 are in space but no longer working). In total, more than 2,000 tons of metal is circling our planet. Add all the drones and communications surveillance being employed, and it’s easy to become paranoid.
Now the number of eyes in the sky is about to change dramatically. Next week, the startup Planet plans to launch eighty-eight tiny satellites into orbit. They will add these to their existing fleet of orbiting cameras, completing a network that will take a picture of every place on Earth, every day—including where you are at any time, day or night.
There’s a spiritual principle here worth contemplating today.
An excellent reason to do the right thing is because it’s the right thing. But another is because there are consequences if you don’t. Not only are more people watching you than ever before, but your omniscient Lord “sees everything under the heavens” (Job 28:24) and “searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9; cf. Acts 1:24; 1 Corinthians 2:11). The consequences of sin are death (Romans 6:23). Sin always takes us further than we wanted to go, keeps us longer than we wanted to stay, and costs us more than we wanted to pay.
It’s not surprising that 90 percent of people surveyed have a major regret about something in their lives. To let go of regret, counselors say, we should try to learn something from the mistake, look on the bright side, choose not to dwell on it, and take action to fix it. Most of all, we should act to correct what is wrong today, before it’s too late and we are left with regrets over things undone and unsaid.
To that end, consider a biblical text that has been on my mind lately: “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!” (Psalm 39:4).
From David’s prayer, we learn the following:
1. We do not know how fleeting life is, which is why we must pray for God to teach us this truth. We think we have more time than we do. We are usually not ready for the end to come for ourselves or for someone we love. Maybe next week or next month, but not today.
2. Only God can reveal the urgency of life to us. He does so through Scripture (as here), reason, intuition, and circumstances.
3. If we do not pray for such revelation, we will not receive it. We will then waste our time and our lives.
4. If we will make David’s prayer ours, God will use our time and life well. We will live with both urgency and serenity.
As a result of his prayer, David could testify, “Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you” (v. 5). He concludes, “Now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you” (v. 7).
John Wesley said, “Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry, because I never undertake any more work than I can get through with perfect calmness of Spirit.”
Can you say the same?