“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing yet had been done.” ~C.S. Lewis
My new son, Jude, was exactly 4 days old at 10:57 a.m. today, which is July 26. So far he’s accomplished four things: eating (breastfeeding style!), sleeping, crying and pooping. That’s as many accomplishments as the number of days he’s been alive. On one hand, that’s pretty impressive although there’s no way to keep up that average. On the other hand, it’s obviously not that impressive because the actual accomplishments are quite mundane and predictable.
These are the type of things that run through my mind and that now have me wondering about mydays. So I figured it up. As of today, I’ve been alive 13,932 days! Good grief, I feel old. I came to that number carefully: 38 years multiplied by 365 days per year, then add in 10 days for the 10 leap years occuring since my birth, then adding in the 52 days that I’ve lived toward my 39th birthday. [(38 x 365) +10 +52 = 13,932]
What in the world have I done with 13,932 days? Have I accomplished something worth doing on all of those days? How about just the days of my adulthood? Staring at that number and thinking about what little I’ve done with many of those days has me considering whether we live a great number of days just for ourselves; eating, sleeping, crying and pooping…at least metaphorically.
What in the world are we doing with our days?
I also looked up the average age of death for people in the U.S. and according to the CDC, it’s 77 years (77.7 to be exact). That number adjusts down a little for men and up a little for women but on average it’s 77, which is close enough to help me make my point. If I live to the average age of death, that’s a little over 14,000 days left to live. I’m almost half done. That’s a sobering fact to consider.
What in the world will I do with those days?
My temptation is to either begin micro-managing my remaining days, which would lead to stress, or start hedging my bets on that time, which would lead me to risk less in order to protect myself and my happiness. The first response could mire me in depression and the second response could cause me to regress to eating, sleeping and pooping…metaphorically speaking, of course.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
While the Bible, in Psalm 90, gives us the sage instruction to “number our days aright“, Jesus then adds to the matter by saying “do not worry about tomorrow.” So which is it? We’re told by the Psalmist that we’re not supposed to live as if this is our last day but we’re told by Jesus that we’re not supposed to count on the future days.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Trying to bring those two thoughts together, I’ve come to the conclusion that we should live each day as if it were our only day. Not our only day remaining but truly our only day ever. This kind of thinking would, by necessity, exclude grudges, hatred, revenge, guilt and hurts from the past because having only one true day wouldn’t allow you to bring your bad history with you. This ‘only true day’ kind of thinking would also preclude stress from upcoming worries such as financial success or failure, sickness, disease, old age, and even death.
Just think, one true day, each day. No stress from the past. No stress over the future. One true day. Every day.
Wouldn’t that be freedom? While I might not be able to answer the question of ‘what in the world will I do with those days’, I can surely and intentionally answer the question of ‘what in the world would I do with that day.’ It brings the question out of the abstract and puts it in the concrete.
One true day. What in the world will you do with it? I think it should be a day about loving people however possible. There would be no time to be selfish or to hurt people because there would be no more days to clean up your messes. No more saying, ‘I’m just young and having fun’ or ‘I’ll be mature later in life.’ And no more saying, ”I must not risk loving people for I could be hurt’ because there would be no future days in which to be hurt.
No more saying, ‘I’ll accomplish that later.’ Today is the day. The only day.
One true day. Every day. Can we really live this way? I have a hunch we can, if we will. So live your one true day today. And then live it again tomorrow.
Post Script Challenge: figure up the number of days you’ve lived and figure the number of days you have left to live, on average. You can use my links in the blogpost above to help you with leap years and such. Then leave a comment below with the numbers of days and some ideas of what you would do with one true day.