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The New Year stretches beyond eyesight.  

366 days  (It’s a leap year)

8,784 hours

527,040 minutes

31,622, 400 seconds

During that time, you will take 8,000,000 breaths, blink over 11.5 million times, and sleep over a hundred days. Not that you would sleep in the day but rather you would have slept that many 24-hour periods. No need to verify those numbers as they are the approximations made by experts who spend their lives counting breaths and blinks. Take a moment and think about what you just read . . . not this sentence but the opening ones. See how hours of blinking and breathing and sleeping add up each day.

None of us can control breathing and blinking. But there are things we can control over the next year. Things like choosing who we live for each day.

We must remember that days and time add up. Ten minutes a day praying or reading the Gospels, adds up to 3,650 minutes–sixty hours a year. Listen to a loved one for thirty minutes a day and you will listen for 182.5 hours in 2021. Over a year tiny times grows into big times. This can be good or bad news. After all, watching/reading the news an hour day adds up to 365 hours a year. I exceeded that in 2020. But a small daily change of trajectory takes me to a better place in a year.

How do we make such changes?  How do we value each day? Hundreds of smart people have written books on the subject. But the advice I like best comes from the pen of a psalmist.  

He teaches us that numbering our days begins with an ask. Like the psalmist, we must ask God to teach us this skill. In Psalm 39:4, he wrote, “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.” He wrote similar words in Psalm 90:12 but there he tells us why we should number our days: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”

This blows my mind. A result of numbering our days is giving God a heart of wisdom. Our life becomes a gift to God when we number our days. Can you see the New Year stretching before you? None of us can see it from beginning to end. Who could have seen what happened in 2020 on the first day of the year? But you can see today. Jesus said that is enough. So, ask God to help you value today . . . to live each moment for him. When you do—you’ll not only smile on the last day of the year, but every day along the way.

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