By Alex Anderson
I had this crazy thought. See if you can follow me on this. I’m 53 years old. If I live to be 86 years old (a very real possibility given my genes) then I have 33 years left. At first this sounds like a lot of time, and it is, unless the perspective is changed to but one single day. Like the Mayfly, which lives from maybe a few minutes to only a day or two, and then is gone. What if my life was, but a single day?
Here are my assumptions. Live until 86 years old. If my useable day is 16 hours (24 hours less 8 hours of sleep) and I divide the 86-year life span by 16 useable hours per day then I get a factor of 5.375. This means that each hour of my useable day is equal to 5.375 years of my life. Humm…one hour equals 5.375 years of my life. Wow!
Then, if I take my current age of 53 and divide it by 5.375 it equals 9.86 hours. So if my waking useable hours start at 7:00 am and end at 11:00 pm (for a 16 hour useable day) then it is 4:52 pm in the afternoon for me, if my life was but a single day. Now I know what the Mayfly must feel. Which means I have 6 hours and 8 minutes left in my day, or in this case…my life.
My Perfect Day
Apparently in the Old Testament King David had a similar thought.
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure” Psalms 39: 4,5 NLT
This kind of makes one feel very small, especially in the face of eternity. Unless the real lesson here, besides the fact that we all will die (or rather our bodies will), is to decide how we spend the rest of our day. If in reality it was 4:52 pm in the afternoon, how would I spend the last remaining 6 hours and 8 minutes of my life? Would I act like it was any given day? Or would I live it like the last day of my life?
Or, maybe my “perfect day?”
If you were designing a day that you would live over and over again for the rest of your life: meaning each day would be exactly the same, what would it look like? Something like the movie Groundhog Day? Each and every day would be the same…your perfect day.
When would you wake up? What would you do when your feet hit the floor? What would you eat for breakfast? Where would you go that day? What would you do? Would you workout? Would you go to work? Would you go see friends or family? What would you do after lunch? Take a nap maybe or create some art? Where would you eat dinner? And who with? What time would you go to bed?
The only rule is…this is your perfect day and you would have to live it the same way each and every day for the rest of your life. Would you decide not to design it and just live with whatever comes? I know living every day the same way seems…well boring and pointless. But, what if it wasn’t? What if, it was exciting? You might be thinking, “How in the world could I design a day that is the same every day for the rest of my life? How could it be anything other than boring after a year or even the first few months?
The difference between boring and exciting is only one word: perspective. And the deciding perspective is: “who have you designed your perfect day for?” Your own needs, desires, and wants; or the aid, benefit, and wellbeing of others? This one slight adjustment can make all the difference.
If your perfect day is designed to do the exact same thing every day, to help and improve the lives of others ever so slightly, then how could that possible be boring?
Here is my hallucination: you really do not want to live a boring day in your life, much less a life of boring days. So get out a sheet of paper and start at 7:00 am in the morning. Design a day that you could live for the rest of your life. A day that when bed time comes at night, you can say to yourself, “That was perfect.”
Then with everything with in you…go live it. Oh, yeah! And email to me a copy of your perfect day. If you actually do this you will be in the top 3 percent of the world, or at least pretty darn close to it, and one of the most happy and fulfilled people on the planet.
To your spiritual health,
Pastor Alex Anderson
Author, Dangerous Prayers