Recently, our son was frustrated because, having reached the momentous age of twenty-three, his life isn’t all worked out to his satisfaction. My husband and I were speechless, and then we laughed. Get used to it, we thought. We don’t have our lives all worked out either.
His sense of urgency is a bit premature, but I understand it. Life overflows with
opportunity and there simply isn’t enough time to take advantage of it all. Every day is a juggle of highly complex choices between immediate to-dos, like dinner, returning emails, and making phone calls, short-term tasks like the half-prepared lecture that must be finished by Tuesday, and activity toward long term goals. Family and friends are important to me, so relational time is a priority. I want to learn Portuguese (really). The list of books and authors I’d like to read is extensive. There are fascinating places to visit and people to meet. I like to take walks and get to my yoga class and ride my bike. Sleep is good too.
Annie Dillard, an author on my list, put it this way, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” If only there were more of them! From this vantage point in my life I understand the value of a day and the importance of spending it wisely. I am experiencing the life that my previous days have created. It’s a good life for which I’m very thankful. It might have been a different sort of life if I had spent my days differently, but I have no regrets. (Well, of course I have made my share of dumb decisions, but I’m talking about the big picture here.)
There’s still a lot of life to live, and I want my todays to be investments in fruitful and satisfying tomorrows. I also want to enjoy today . There’s the tension.
Fortunately, we can get some help in planning our days and living our lives from One who sees the really big picture. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but God does. To surrender each day to Him is to build a life perfectly suited for tomorrow. And, one last thought; I get really jazzed when I think of having all eternity to learn and read and do all the things I won’t have time to do in this life. I guess we have to escape from time to finally have enough of it.
I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts on making the most of our days. How do you spend your days? What do you look forward to in eternity?
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12.)
Ditto Margaret’s comment!
And as for how I spend my days . . . I ‘m not happy when I’m reactive instead of proactive, when the day and all its stuff gets away from my to-do list, when I can’t look back at the day and see all the crossed off things. Then I need to remember that unless I’m busy with time-wasters (HGTV or Facebook can be deadly), God is in all the detours of my day. So what I didn’t get the laundry finished! I sat with my husband and enjoyed conversation and listened to the birds singing!
And I love that you want to learn Portuguese, Judy. Can you tell me why that particular language? I want to learn Latin. Dead language, I know, but I’ve always wanted to learn it. Maybe in heaven.
I want to learn Portuguese because my grandson wil be bi-lingual – Portuguese and English. His dad speaks to him in Portuguese and his mom in English. It will be interesting to see if that confuses him! Maybe I can learn a little Portuguese with him. Or I’ll try Rosetta Stone. Sounds a bit daunting, I must admit.
I loved your comment that we have to escape from time to finally have enough of it, a hopeful thought!
I know that this may not answer your questions, but Sue Anderson and I were just emailing about life with God. Sue said, “even if there was no heaven….I’d want life with Him for however long I have on earth.” And that really made me think about my days… I think because I have spent so much of my life struggling to plan, organize, make goals (and I hope that He was orchestrating those ideas, although I have my doubts in many cases…) that I really just want to spend the “rest” of my days “resting” in Him.
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:4,7)
I’m liking this today!
Thanks Linda. I love your addition of “rest” to this discussion. It seems counter intuitive to rest when there is always so much to do. Rest in and wait for the Lord as a time management technique…hmmm…sounds just like God, doesn’t it?