“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”—Psalm 90:12
We keep track of our days by the numbers. An eight-hour workday or a 60-minute football game--seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months mark our work and our play. Fathers count fingers and toes upon the birth of their children. Dieters count calories. We even learn to paint by the numbers.
Worldview Academy’s Fall Camps in Texas and Colorado recently finished drawing our 2017 camp season to a close. 22 years, 326 camps, and 37,000+ students with 1 purpose: to train Christians to think and then to live in accord with a biblical worldview. However, those numbers are merely shorthand for the stories that occur during camp and the lives that are changed during that “longest but shortest week” in a student’s life.
At the Colorado fall camp this month a father, whose father is one of my best friends and longtime mentors, told me he kept a jar of 937 marbles on his desk. Joel said, “Each marble represents a week of my children’s lives. I tend to put things off by saying, ‘I’ll do that next week,’ but those marbles remind me that I only have 936 weeks to influence and impact my children in their 18 years at home.”
And that extra marble? “That extra marble reminds me that I will still have a relationship with them when they are adults.”
Parents entrust their students to Worldview Academy for one of those weeks, and for 22 years we have made that responsibility our # 1 priority. That “week” of camp has now been expanded to encompass 9 months or 2 semesters or 1 academic year for a handful of Worldview Academy’s alumni. The Bridgeyear program here in Canon City at The Abbey seeks to train students to consider what is worthwhile daily and to listen to the Holy Spirit every minute in making their relationship with the Father a priority each morning as they grow to be more like Jesus throughout their lives. The Abbey has added an extra marble—a full year—to the influence parents have in their children’s lives. At The Abbey our #1 desire is for our students to obtain “a heart of wisdom” through the classroom instruction and discussion, as well as through scheduled weekly evangelism opportunities and community involvement.
So, 45-1-3-67-35 is not the winning lottery quick pick this week, nor is it my bank account number or the secret code to unlock the mysteries of the universe. 45 is the number of years my 1 and only favorite wife has been my partner in raising up 3 now adult children.
Also, in my oh-so-brief 67 years on this planet, I am reminded that I should make my #1 plea, “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
Finally, parents have entrusted 35 students this year to The Abbey Bridgeyear Program. I ask that you pray for us unceasingly as we prepare them to engage with truth and grace a culture that has lost its marbles. Pray we will play it by the numbers.
- Bill Jack