One More Day
By DANNY MINTON
I was born on a Sunday approximately 645,792 hours ago as I write this article. That amounts to 26,908 days, or 3,844 weeks, or 884 months. If I live to my dad’s age when he passed, I have approximately 178,296 hours or 7,429 days. Of those hours, I will spend in the neighborhood of 10 hours a day getting ready for bed, sleeping, and getting up and ready to start a new day. This leaves me with 104,006 hours or around 4,333 days left to use. Of course, those days could be shortened or lengthened, depending on factors for which I have no control. As I look at my life now, each day becomes important.
As I look back on those days past, there are moments in which I take pride and moments that I’d like to forget. It would be nice to take back those times we regret and reuse them in a better way. However, we know that’s impossible. Time machines to help us correct past mistakes do not exist, or do they? While we cannot change the past, we do have the ability to look back and learn and, as a result, teach ourselves not to make those mistakes again.
Every day we awaken becomes a new opportunity to use that day for good. The past exists only in memories of yesterday. What lies ahead is fresh and clean, just waiting for us to paint a new picture in our life. Each morning when we open our eyes, we should keep the words God spoke to Israel in Jeremiah 29, “‘ For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “‘ plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'” (NASB)
It’s easy to get caught up in the disappointments and failures of our yesterdays. For some reason, we allow them to haunt our lives and keep us from being aware of what today and tomorrow can hold for us. The things that I regret from years ago have faded away. Times and people have passed or changed. Events that I regret exist only in my mind, forgotten by time.
James wrote, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 (ESV)
As I ponder James’ thoughts and how time seems to have quickly passed, it reminds me how precious these next hours and days will be. What kind of person will I be to those around me? What type of memory will I leave in the minds of those with whom I come in contact each day? As we seek to do God’s will, we not only form our memories, but at the same time, have an impact on the memories of others and what they will look back upon years from now.
We may not want to think about it, but today could be the rest of our life. The question becomes, “How will you view life today?” First, forget about those who have wronged you, forgive them, and move on. Secondly, quit dwelling on the regrets of yesterdays past. You can’t change them, so don’t worry about them. Thirdly, begin today to take a new step toward making your life closer to the actions of Jesus. Treat others the way you want them to treat you. Follow the teachings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and understanding. Today is a new day and a chance for a new life. Keep in mind the words God spoke to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
The final verse of the song, “One More Day” from Les Miserables, reminds us of what each tomorrow brings.
Tomorrow we’ll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store
One more dawn
One more day
One day more
So how should we face today? Paul says it best in a letter to the Philippians.” Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Philippians 3:13-16 (NASB)
If you are reading this, God has given you one more day. What will you do with it?
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ