12,775 Days

Today in our Crown Financial Bible study we estimated how many days we have left before we die. Assuming I live to age 70, I have about 12,775 days left. That doesn’t seem right. Somehow I assumed I had hundreds of thousands of days in the span of my life.

It doesn’t seem like enough time to do anything–but it’s also too little to waste! I don’t want to spend 12,770 of those days living a mundane existence with nothing memorable to mark them. I don’t want to spend thousands of those days being a slave to debt or fear. If I have 12,775 (or less) days left on this earth, I want to spend each day doing exactly what God wants me to do.

I’ve struggled since I got saved with whether I’m doing anything of substance–whether my efforts will withstand the transition from earth to heaven. It all comes back to worship. Am I just working, am I just singing–or am I worshipping God through graphic design, through song? And it goes much deeper: Am I worshipping God through the way I treat my husband and children? Am I worshipping God when I do laundry or balance the checkbook? Or are these just mundane things I have to do to survive? Things I’ll never think twice about, mindless chores that don’t matter? Clutter that fills up each of my 12,775 days? I think anything can be clutter–even graphic design, even singing worship songs–if it’s done without reverence, as though it’s mundane. And the stuff we do thoughtlessly or heartlessly won’t survive the transition from earth to heaven.

So if singing worship songs can be mundane because of my attitude, on the flip side, can doing laundry be a holy encounter?

I heard Jon Eldridge (a Christian writer) speak at a conference a few years ago, and he talked about how all of us were meant to live a great adventure like the ones we see on the silver screen. He said while we have to do things like take out the garbage and wash the dishes, that’s not what life’s all about. He said if we chase after God and step out of the boat (that’s a Biblical reference to Peter walking on water), life can be just as exciting as “The Last of the Mohicans,” for example. And he said all good stories mirror the greatest story, of the hero (Jesus Christ) giving his very life to rescue the damsel in distress (us). And I agree.

But I don’t want to relegate trash and dishes and laundry to unimportant details in my story. The fact is, no matter how often I step out of the boat or rescue Mary Jane or throw the ring into the flaming lava, there will always be trash and dishes and laundry. In fact, these things will occupy a good number of my few remaining days. So why waste that opportunity? Like … can I do the laundry with an attitude of thanksgiving to God for giving me this family whose clothes I’m washing, and for the clothes we own, and for the resources (water, washing machine, detergent, electricity) to keep them clean?

I probably couldn’t be that sanctified everyday. But if I could do it sometimes–more often than not–doing laundry could become a holy encounter. (It reads well, but I’ll have to practice it.) The opposite is true when I sing or design: I can’t let it be mundane. I must do it with gratitude for the One who gave me the gifts and who has given me an outlet to both use them and point others to Him as the giver of all good things. Otherwise it’s just as meaningless to God as it is to me.

I’ve got about 12,775 days to work on these things. And … go!

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