Thursday, December 31, 2015

Calendar, a Book of Todays

Calendar, a book of todays. How will we fill them?
I have a calendar in our kitchen on which I keep track of events and activities. You probably have one somewhere too.  According to this smart little calendar, it’s today. Yesterday was a today yesterday. Now it is a yesterday. This 24 hour period of time that is here now is today and is available for the appointed number of hours. Even on my most confused of days, I always wake up knowing it is today. But having a well-documented calendar helps me remember tasks that might be pertinent for each day. So, I use it as a list of sorts, to keep me on track.  

My annual documentary continues with this calendar for the coming year. (You are probably not the least bit surprised that I chose a bird theme.) It is empty now. Well actually, it is full of little square blocks that represent 365 days, but the blocks are empty. I use my previous calendar to fill in the squares on the new calendar with birthdays and anniversaries, and add other things as they come along, including doctor appointments, snowfall amounts, when seeds are planted, and of course, hummingbird sightings. (In case you are curious, they usually arrive in north Alabama around the first of April.)

Looking back
While this time last year, we fully expected the coming year to be full of wonderful things…yet as it came, it held todays of both happiness and sadness, tragedy and triumph. If history repeats itself, this coming year will do the same. You and I both have years that we want to escort to the curb personally, and others go by far too quickly. Thankfully, of all the inventions of man, we cannot change the length of each today. It will contain 24 hours whether it is full of pain or joy and whether we want it to never end or get out of town before lunch. The fact is, we have today, and it won’t last long.

Calendar with 365 todays to fill
It is helpful for me to go back through the 12 pages of each previous year and start a new, fresh calendar. I go through each page and copy the special days onto the new calendar and finally close the old one, one last time. It will still contain all the memories, but will be packed away to make room for the book of todays, and all the hope it brings. So, just as I have for each of our nearly 40 years of marriage, today I pack away memories from the past year, and fill in as many events as I know at this point on our new calendar.

Looking ahead

To me, it seems like we just did that - celebrate the arrival of a new year, that is. But, the calendar doesn’t lie. Today’s today ends one annual cycle and tomorrows today will begin another, full of “Happy new year!” greetings and wishes. We anticipate it with such celebration, that businesses close, and countdowns begin for the coming todays of dreams and expectations, plans and other wonderful experiences. It will likely hold births, marriages, accomplishments, and joyous occasions. Out with the old year and in with the new with fireworks, cheers, and late night parties!

How will we fill it?
Our lives could be considered books filled with little blocks of time/days, some spent, gone, and etched in history and others – including today – with room and time to write. What will be logged into our today? Some things are out of our control, but other things we can choose.  For example, we can choose to spend the time – grieving over previous pages or delighting in the new day, working toward a goal or giving up, building up or tearing down, giving of ourselves and our talents or waiting for tomorrow, following God or our own desires.  

Look for blessings from God
I don’t know what events will occur in your calendar of todays, or mine, but I know each one will have blessing. Look around you right now. Is the sun up? The moon? Are you breathing in and out? YOU my friend, are the recipient of blessings! What if we looked for them, on purpose, and wrote in each block one blessing we received that day? It might be that the grass grew, a breeze cooled the day, the sun warmed your face, that you were able to share a smile and maybe receive one in return, or simply that you heard a bird sing.  Wouldn’t that be a treat? To look back at the year FULL of blessings that we easily forget! It is not an exercise to fill the days with things we accomplish, but look to what He is doing!

No matter our past accomplishments or future plans, none of that counts for how we handle today.  We only have to today to fill today. Will you join me in looking specifically to
 #1 Focus on Him to recognize every blessing from His hand, and
#2 fill our blocks of time wisely, with only what He desires for us?
I hope so! Let’s do this together!

How grateful we are for this day. We know You made it, and we rejoice and are glad in it understanding it holds only what You allow it to hold.  
Help us be mindful of the value of this day and the brevity of our total days. The years that once went by so slowly in our minds, seem to race as we see more and more pages of our lives turn into past. Help each one reading this to live today with purpose. Help us to live according to Your design and will and purpose every moment. Fill us with Your peace as the day unfolds and Your power as we go about Your work.

Wise King Solomon found these things to be true.
“There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven-a time
to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and time to uproot what is planted…
to tear down-to build up…
to weep-to laugh…
to mourn-to dance…
to throw stones-to gather stones…
to embrace-to shun embracing…
to search-to give up as lost…
to keep-to throw away…
to tear apart-to sew together…
to be silent-to speak…
to love-to hate…
for war-for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Let’s close up the pages from our past and use today to be focused on Him and filled with His purpose! If we never get to fill another block, let’s make this one count!

 This Time 
by David Meece

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