“Make Each Day Count”
I received a letter in the mail last week from the United States Census Bureau, giving me instructions about filling out my 2020 Census questionnaire online. It even said that my response is required by law, so I guess I shouldn’t mess around with this or ignore it as being some kind of junk mail. And, I suppose it is important information for the government to have as it provides a wealth of data, including a head count of the number the people in our country, the average household size, income of families, demographics, geography, — and basically a window in the lives of the people of this country.
The Bible has a slightly different approach when it comes to numbers and census questionnaires. Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” More important then the government counting heads, is that we as Christians make every day count. In other words, because time is short, -- make each day matter. In light of the brevity of life, we should live moment by moment adventurously for God. That may seem rather odd, given these interesting and uncertain times. And while it is tempting to just batten down the hatches and withdraw completely from society and everyday life, I believe the opposite is true. Let’s make the most of our life and faith in Jesus Christ, even if it feels uncomfortable and unfamiliar.
In the movie, “The Dead Poets Society,” Robin Williams stars as a brilliant, flamboyant teacher named Mr. Keating in a rigid boarding school for boys. He is not afraid to challenge the assumption of those boys. He says, “You’re losing your dreams by just mindlessly living out a script that has been prepared for you by your parents.” In one scene, he takes the boys to the lobby downstairs in the school, and he stands them in front of a trophy case with the yellowed photographs of classes from previous years. And Mr. Keating says, “Look closely at these faces, boys, because these young men also once had a fire in their eyes. They also were going to take the world by storm, just like you. And they were going to live lives of significance. That was 70 years ago. Now they’re pushing up daisies. How many of them accomplished what they set out to do?” And in that marvelous moment, Mr. Keating leans into the faces of those boys and he says, “Carpe Diem! Seize the Day.”
Now I am not saying that we should be reckless and throw caution to the wind. I am not saying we should ignore or defy all the experts’ advice when it comes to the coronavirus. I want all of you to be safe and healthy. What I am saying is to take up the challenge to be faithful in the creative and imaginative ways in how God can use you. Make each day count with your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, your church, and your Lord, as you continue live out your days in these unprecedented times.