“So, Elaine, are you ready for Thanksgiving?” my coworker asked as we scanned and bagged a grocery order.
“Thanksgiving? It's mid-October! Listen, buddy, I'm old! Each day is a treasure! I can't be throwing them carelessly away!”
My friend looked a little startled at my vehement protestation. And I understand where he's coming from. He's young, less than half my age, and eagerly counting the days till his upcoming vacation and birthday celebration Thanksgiving week in the mountains of Tennessee. Who could blame him for mentally tossing away calendar pages as fast as he turns them over?
It's a matter of perspective, one gained over time. His lifetime hourglass is still very full; the hours seem to stream endlessly before him with no end in sight. I, on the other hand, am keenly aware that there are more grains of sand in the bottom half of mine than are waiting to drop from the top, so I am increasingly careful with what I do with each one. I don't have any to waste!
And really, why would we want to, no matter what stage of life we are currently in? Each day is a gift, a one-time-use twenty-four-hour offer of joy from God, available for pickup each morning and expiring come nightfall, never to return in exactly the same way ever again. Why would we pass that up?
Yet some of us do. We stumble through our daily routines just trying to make it through each one till we can fall exhausted in our beds at night for a few hours of rest before rising to do it all again. We count on holidays and weekends away to be bright spots of joy in increasingly pressure-packed schedules that vary little from season to season in intensity, but only in the activities we pursue. Meanwhile, the days of our lives are slipping through our fingers and there seems to be no way to slow the flow.
But that's not so.
Favorite author Ann Voskamp suggests
that we can actually do so with gratitude. We hold a moment captive
when we see the wonder it contains, fully experience its joy and
express our thanks for the same before letting it pass away.
Gratitude simply adds length to our days... and perhaps days to the
length of our lives. Count me in!
And so I approach my days a little
differently now. I rise in the morning to meet up with God, Who hands
me the gift of the day before me, and then eagerly watches as I go
through the hours that follow, gently unwrapping the tissue-packed
minutes that are meant to surprise and delight me. His smile grows at
my joy over each new discovery of His goodness, every token of His
care, and every new revelation of His love for me. His ears rejoice
as I voice my thanks. And at the end of the day I slip the wrappings
away in a bedtime thank-you conversation with Him about the hours
just past, a gift in return. Sleep then comes peacefully sweet till I
rise to do it all over again the next day. Who would want to give any
such days away?
So am I ready for thanks-giving? You
bet! And I hope you are, too.
“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
(Psalm 118:24 NKJV)