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.)