Take a moment to think back yesterday. What happened yesterday that really sticks out in your mind? Go back two days, and try to compile your memories from two days ago. How about a week ago? What do you remember about the details of your life from one week ago? A month? A year?
Usually when we step back into our memories we see key events; we remember the big moments that changed the course of our lives. When I think back to 2012 I remember a couple of big events right off the block — our decision to move to Lake Ann Camp, and Traci’s kidney donation surgery — but there’s a lot of haziness over the rest of that year. Overboard published a couple of books (can’t remember the exact dates), my family took a three week cross-country road trip and AJ’s baseball team won the championship that year in Little League. After that, 2012 is pretty much a blur.
This year I’ve picked up my journal again, and I’ve been recording the events of each day. I’m trying to see each day through the context of my relationship with Traci, and I’m amazed at how challenging that process can be. Sitting down at the end of the day and trying to record the events as they affected me and Traci has been very difficult at times, even though I’m only looking back at one 24-hour-day!
A couple of times I have missed a day or two and I’ve taken the time to go back and fill in each missing day. One time I missed 10 days of writing, so I carefully went back through the calendar and filled in the missing days. There were several times I took 10-15 minutes to try and recall the specific details of a single day and found it almost impossible. On one hand, so much happens in a day that it’s almost like data overload; on the other hand, when trying to see it only using the lens of my relationship with Traci, the data can be sparse (at least my recall of the data is sparse).
The question that keeps popping up, as I continue to journal my life on a daily basis, is this: am I facing each day with the intention to make my life count? In Project Nehemiah I spent some time exploring the idea that a remarkable life isn’t doing the “big things” that so often get labeled as extraordinary or special, but it’s in living in obedience, every day, to God and His Word. When I live in obedience, the other details take care of themselves. The opportunities to impact the lives of others will flow from my daily walk. From there, God may give my the opportunity to impact the President of the United States, or He might give me the chance to alter the day of an elderly person in a nursing home. Neither task is more important than the other, but both require a commitment to obedience.
This morning, as my wife and I went out on a morning run, we were both struck by the challenges of running early, on a warm and muggy day. At one point my wife said, “I feel like I’ve got nothing today” to which I echoed a similar sentiment. But you know what we did have going for us? We were running even when we didn’t feel like it. We were out there fighting the humidity and the early morning stiffness that, in the past, would have sidelined us. The run itself wasn’t that special but the choice to be faithful to running will net results in October when we both attempt our first half marathon.
In the same way, our simple obedience to God’s Word is preparing us for something in the future. Whether it’s to impact your own children or 3,000 campers, or whether you get to be the person that introduces a neighbor to Christ or shares Jesus with a world leader isn’t yours to choose. You get the chance to be obedient, each day, and to trust God to provide opportunities that flow from your obedience. And just like it takes intention to get up and go running on a warm and muggy Northern Michigan morning, it takes focused attention to your walk with God to choose the paths of obedience, faith and love in the decisions you face each day.
After my shower, a refreshing Rev3 drink and a healthy snack I realized this morning’s run was extraordinary. Three miles of jogging, walking and gasping for air is extraordinary? You bet! Because today I got up did what I was supposed to do in order to be ready for what’s next. I want each day to count like that (and not just for running!), and that means I need to be who God wants me to be in obedience, so I’ll be ready for whatever God wants me to do down the road. And that kind of faithful living, every day, is indeed, extraordinary, and worth journaling!
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!