We are coming up on my favorite time of year (isn’t it everyone’s?). This year, though, I feel keenly aware of just how quickly it will pass. Not just because this time of year is full of events, parties, and celebrations on top of the everyday busyness, but because time just passes more quickly now than it used to.
Yet, despite repeatedly recognizing and reminding myself of this reality, I have struggled to remain joyfully present in the rhythms of daily life. A hard day with the toddlers, a day plagued by irrational anxiety, a mile-long to-do list, a night of interrupted sleep, fear of the future…all become the reasons I give for a lack of joy as I shift to simply surviving the day. Too often I have woken up in the morning and viewed the day as a burden, as something to get through.
I don’t know when the Lord convicted me of this sinful perspective, but it was sometime in the year or two after I had babies. When you begin to view time through the rapidly changing faces of your children, life starts to look a lot shorter. It was then that Psalm 118:24 truly took root in my heart and mind:
- This is the day the Lord has made;
let’s rejoice and be glad in it.
Stewarding the Day
Psalm 118:24 now lives semi-permanently on the letter board in my kitchen, beside my coffee pot. It’s the first thing I see when I get up in the morning. I want to view each day as a gift—to recognize that God sustained me through the night and gives me life and breath for another day.
I felt like I gained a fresh perspective on this recently when I was down for the count with a decently bad headache. I rarely get sick—particularly with a headache—in a way that renders me unable to do much of anything. I’m also a terrible sick person, which, combined with a case of hypochondria, left me in a horrible mood. I spent the morning trying to rest—but actually rest, not just laying around. By that I mean I tried to find the peace and rest that can only come from dwelling in the Lord and trusting that He orders my steps each day.
I listened to worship music, prayed, walked around my neighborhood, took a bath, and read portions of books that I thought might help me renew my mind. I came across the entry for a “sick day” in Every Moment Holy. One passage of the liturgy read:
- A day such as this, in which I endure
a measure of sickness or unease,
is a reminder that the redemption of all
things is not yet complete. It is a reminder
that this body will decline and one day fail,
and so it is also a reminder that the ways
I spend my days matter—for my hours,
revealed like veins of gold beneath a rushing
stream, are a limited resource to be
purposefully mined or forever lost.
All the ways I spend my days matter, for once the day passes, I don’t get it back. I know this, in theory. It’s why I’ve spent so much time reading about and developing habits. Just like my physical health, finances, and opportunities, the day is something I should steward well, for it will soon be gone.