Make Each Day Count


It seems that 24 hours is all we get, but what we do with those 24 hours is our choice.

Do you feel that time goes by faster each year? Do you feel that you have too much to do on most days?

Why is that?

We all have the same hours in a day as Adam and Eve. It seems that 24 hours is all we get but our choice is what we do with those 24 hours

I remember back to the day when the computer was going to aid us in cutting back work to four days a week instead of five. Did that happen for you? Me, neither!

I remember when email was going to help us organize and prioritize all the mail that was formerly delivered by the US Postal Service. How’s that working out? Now, everyone expects a response within five minutes of when they hit send. We continue to foster that belief when we respond within ten minutes after it hits our inbox.

What happened??

Somewhere along the super highway of communications, we’ve decided that if you have my contact information, then I’m obligated to respond to you immediately upon receipt of your contact with me. So, your email or text hits my device and I drop what I was working on or ignore the person to whom I was speaking to respond to you or get up in the middle of the night so my response is in your inbox first thing in the morning. Who made you in charge of my universe?

And therein lies the problem.

Who oversees my universe? We've given each other so much power and control over our lives that we don't have the time, energy or focus to put our oomph where it belongs. The One who created us made us with certain limitations and as much as we’d like to believe we’re super humans, we’re not!

So, what’s the cure? How do we stop the rat race on which we find ourselves? Here are some suggestions:

1. Remember who God is. That may seem trite but when we remember that our Creator made us and knows us best. He knows how quickly my days will come to an end.

"Show me, O , my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. Psalms 39:4

2. Stop to smell the roses. A tried and true proverb that refreshes the soul and re-energizes the body.

I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.  Proverbs 8:30-31                                 

3. Focus on what is important to you now! What are your priorities at home, work, church? Spend time focusing on those things that are most important to who you are and will bring God's Kingdom the greatest value. 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.   Matthew 6:33-34

Leave the results to God! He’s the only One who matters when it comes to what you accomplish today, tomorrow or the remainder of your life. What would bring Him the greatest glory and honor at this moment?

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14

John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian in CA, tells a wonderful story about his grandmother that bears repeating. Listen as he tells the story:

My grandmother was a fabulous person and she loved to play games.  But she was a very competitive game player and she would never put up with pouting.  She was developing character and integrity in us when we would play. 

Monopoly was her favorite game and we played that and when I’d get my little lump of money, I just wanted to hold onto it.  But my grandmother understood that money is how you keep score, but winning is the name of the game.  And so, when she would go around the game board, she would buy every piece of property that she landed on and she would mortgage it to the hilt to buy everything else, until eventually she was master of the board.  And she owned the whole deal and I would land on her property once too often.  And then she would just kind of smile as I handed her my last dollar and she would say, “Don’t worry about it, Johnny; one day you’ll learn how to play the game.”

I always hated it when she would say that to me.  And then one year, one summer, I played with a kid who lived in our neighborhood and we played this game almost every day.  And gradually that summer it dawned on me, “acquisition is the name of the game, money is how you keep score.  You must develop a ruthless commitment to acquisition.”  So, in that fall when I went to play with grandmother again, I was more ruthless than my grandmother.  I was ready; my palms were sweaty playing my grandmother.  I was willing to cheat to defeat my grandmother.  And I will never forget the moment.  It happened at Marvin Gardens.  

And my grandmother landed on me once too often and I watched her.  This was a wonderful woman, I mean, she taught me how to play the game.  She was a widow by now.  She had raised six children, and she raised my mom and loved my mom, loved me, taught me to play the game and I destroyed her financially and psychologically and watched her hand over her last dollar to me.  It was a wonderful moment.

Then she had one more thing to teach me and it was the great lesson that always comes at the end of the game.  Now, it all goes back in the box.  When the game is over.  All that money, all that property, all those utilities, Boardwalk and Park Place.  We get all excited about the game and who’s going to be the master of the board and make a ruthless commitment to acquisition and money is how you keep score.  And we forget this one ultimate lesson, that when the game ends, and the game always ends, it all goes back in the box. 

You’ve taken the last five minutes (maybe) to read through this blog. I’m honored. Now, find the time and space for the most important thing in your life and do that. Plan each day to do that which is most important because at the end of the day (life), it all goes into a box.

By Karen McGuire

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