When Methuselah had lived one hundred eighty-seven years, he became the father of Lamech. Methuselah lived after the birth of Lamech seven hundred eighty-two years, and had others sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years; and he died. (Genesis 5:25-27 NRSV)
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I want to live to be 969 years old! Think how tired Methuselah must have been!
Biblical scholars debate about the meaning of these accounts: did humans really live to be that old? Or, it occurred to me as I thought about this story, could it be that time was counted differently?
Math is not (and has never been) my forte, but as I thought about this, I did some calculating. What if months were counted as years in those times? Divide 960 months by 12 and you get 72, and 72 would not be an unreasonable life-span for a man.
Of course, we will never know, and it really doesn’t matter, I suppose.
Maybe I’m thinking about all this because I have a birthday looming this fall. It isn’t 969, thank goodness, but it is 69! (How did that happen to a nice kid like me?) So, maybe like Methuselah, I have 900 more years to go. It makes me tired just thinking about it!
Even so, I figure I have earned my wrinkles and my gray hairs, and I plan to keep them. And I want to enjoy life, the beauty of this world, the gift of loved ones and friends, the warmth of Kitty Kat curled up on my lap, the joy of learning new things, the surprises I find in the Bible, and all God’s gifts!