“You think this is just another day in your life?
It’s not just another day, it’s the one day that is given to you.
It’s a gift.
If there’s one thing I covet, it’s time. I protect and try never to squander it. I’m annoyed when people/things interfere with my plans for it. I resent sleep and I deplore musicals because they waste it. Yet despite all my efforts,
I accomplish so little and never have enough of it. And don’t know how to change that.
I would’ve thought a mandated isolation would help. I would’ve thought with fewer excuses, I’d get more done. But after three weeks of quarantining, nothing has changed. My days go faster and my guilt is greater. My house isn’t cleaner or more organized, I haven’t spent substantial quality time with my family, my next book is no closer to being written, and I still feel like there isn’t enough time in the day.
A friend shared a video on social media recently by Louie Schwartzberg. In it he said the only appropriate response to the gift called today, is gratefulness and when you cultivate that response by learning,
“… to respond like [today is] the first day of your life and the very last,
then you will have spent this day very well.”
The question of course (and title of my next book) is, But HOW? How, do I live like today might be my last? If I can’t today – two months from my fiftieth birthday, fully sequestered in my home, and pandemic fears bombarding me – live with and capitalize on the acute awareness of the brevity of life, how will I ever spend my days well?
I’ve been reading a book called The Rest of God; Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Your Sabbath. I got hooked on it when I fought back tears reading author Mark Buchanan’s idolatry with time and productivity, “…for all my busyness, I was increasingly slothful… And it became obvious that the pace and scale of my striving were paying diminishing returns.” And he didn’t just relate to my struggles, he also addressed But How:
“Real Sabbath, the kind that empties us and fill us, depends on…complete confidence and trust. And confidence and trust like that are rooted in a deep conviction that God is good and God is sovereign. There’s no rest for those who don’t believe that.
Unless we trust God’s sovereignty, we won’t dare risk Sabbath.”
My time in quarantine hasn’t made my house cleaner, my to-do list shorter, or channeled my inner Marie Kondo. But it’s helping me learn to know and trust the sovereignty, or bigness, of God. It’s helping me remember to ask HIM how to orient my calendar, how to be present with my family, and what matters. And it’s helping me learn to ask HIM to help me empty myself of my obsession with time so I can be filled instead by the sovereign, loving, Creator and Giver,
of the gift called today.