He'p me, Jesus...
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say 'You are my God.' My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
David was in trouble / peril / danger so often we aren't sure what caused him to write Psalm 31. To anyone facing an uncertain future, however, it resonates. It is quoted many times in other places in Scripture; Jesus quoted verse 5 while on the cross. It has become part of my daily thought processes, and I encourage you to soak in it.
A 2005 article in National Geographic identified three regions of the world where people have consistently shown longer life spans: Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda, California. Dan Buettner, researcher and explorer involved with the 2005 article, decided to do a follow-up study to determine if there were more regions to be discovered. His team found an abnormally large number of people living past 90—even into their 100s—on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
Intrigued, Buettner and a large research team made their way to the region to discover what factors aided in living a longer life. They found that longevity is due in part to diet, sun exposure, and source of water, but they also found the following factors to be crucial in the survival of the people:
The people on the Nicoya Peninsula have a strong sense of purpose. They "feel needed and want to contribute to a greater good."
They choose to focus on the family. Persons over 100 years of age in this region "tend to live with their families…. Children or grandchildren provide support and a sense of purpose and belonging."
They have strong social networks. Their neighbors visit frequently, and they all seem to know the value of listening, laughing, and appreciating what they have.
They know the value of hard work. They even manage to "find joy in everyday physical chores."
They understand and appreciate their historical roots and spiritual traditions. In essence, they know their story. **
You and I are privileged to live in a peculiarly odd time in human history. May we know our story; may we treasure the life God has given us, even when painful. May we live "on purpose," enjoy our work, families and friends. May we say like David, "my times are in your hand."
Enjoying my daily life, no matter what comes, Perry Floyd
** Dan Buettner, "Costa Rica Secrets to a Long Life,"AARPmagazine (May/June 2008), p. 69