It's still close enough to the beginning of this new year to post something with a New Year's theme – especially something as good as this! This past weekend my wife Becka and I were on a retreat to the Wilds in North Carolina. At the end of the final session our pastor, Drew Conley, read something his sister-in-law Claudia Holmes Barba had written for her most recent Monday Morning Club. Then last evening he read it again at the end of the service.
It was such a nice piece that I decided to e-mail Claudia as soon as I got home and ask her permission to post it on my blog this week. She wrote back right away and said it would be fine and sent me a copy of it to post.
Numbering My Days
by Claudia Holmes Barba
The skeleton of the new year sits on the pages of my day planner. Its skinny bones are the standard reminders of birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, and deadlines that I've already jotted in. I'll fatten that skeleton with the minutiae of life as days go by.
I can be certain of one thing about all my plans for this year: none of them are certain. I may scribble them in today only to scribble them out tomorrow. I'll often have to alter my agenda and rearrange my precious schedule – sweetly, I hope – to accommodate others. Surprises both blissful and dreadful will arrive. I may be with the Lord in glory (Glory!) by spring or celebrate my autumn birthday (Happy!) with Him. I will not make any big noises about any tomorrows, since I can't even know what today will bring.
There's another certainty about this year: I am going to give account for every moment of it. Even a quick flip through last year's planner makes me miserably aware that too many of its days and labors did not count for eternity. I admit to my sorrow that I toted water past thirsty souls and hoarded bread from hungry hearts. Though I wore the label "full-time ministry" all year, I am dismayed at how little I accomplished that will endure, as I squandered the wealth of many hours I could have invested. This year, I intend to walk more circumspectly, redeeming the time, reminding myself every day of "how short my time is" (Psalm 89:47).
So I've decided on a January project: to record on each day of next year's calendar the number of days I've lived. Today, I've calculated, is about Day 20,894 of my life. (That's pretty old.) It would be more motivating to record how many days I have left, but only the Lord knows that number. This I do know: there is a God-determined limit to my days, and since I've already used up way more than half of them, I can't afford to fritter away even one more. By His grace, this year I will actively seek out the thirsty and hungry and ripen ordinary contacts into redeeming relationships. I will treat each trip as a mission trip. I will be more concerned with keeping divine appointments than with keeping to my schedule. I won't allow either the routine or the urgent to thwart the essential and eternal.
Maybe you'd like to join me by calculating and recording your days, too. Reading those big numbers on our calendars every day may be the sort of numbering of days that brings wisdom (Psalm 90:12). I hope so, because looking ahead at the new year, I can tell we're going to need it.
If you enjoyed this and would like to sign up to receive Claudia's e-mails, you can contact her through a link on the site she and her husband Dave have for their ministry - Press On! Ministries
Thank you, Claudia, for allowing me to share what was a blessing to me with my readers! I've noted in the picture at the beginning of this post that today is about Day 20,925 for me. That is a sobering thought!
This week we will be back in classes again for second semester! Exciting times ahead, and lots of work for all parties concerned (and not so much for all parties unconcerned - of which we hope there are not many!)
"When we are in Christ, how we work and why we work changes." - Dr. Drew Conley
When fabric softener was invented, did it make people ex-static?