IMG_2537A special hour-glass sits on the desk in my study. It was a gift from my family and means a great deal to me. It actually measures fifteen minutes of time and is a constant reminder to me that every moment counts. Minutes become hours. Hours become days. And days become – well, you get the idea.

Recently my dad passed along to me a powerful quote by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799): “The hour-glass is a reminder not only of time’s quick flight, but concurrently also of the dust to which we shall at last return.”

We measure time by years. By months. By events. By accomplishments. God measures time by days. God’s measurement of our lives is much different from our own. Repeatedly in Scripture the Holy Spirit emphasizes the days of our lives.

On the opening page of Holy Scripture the Lord established this basic unit of life, “and the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5). On the closing page of the Word of God we are promised an eternal day, for “there shall be no night there” (Revelation 22:5). Time will end with “the day of the Lord,” and will begin one endless, perfect day for believers.

Days matter. Every one of them. Life is not composed of long spans and large events. It is made up of short days. And the only way to make the most of the year is to give each day to God. So soon the days turn to years…

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Ps. 90:9-10).

Years ago I heard my pastor testify that when he and his wife were first married he said to her, “We don’t have one day to waste!” The older I get, the more I understand this urgency. Days pass so quickly.

365 days. What will you do with each of them?

Would you join Moses and make the words of the oldest psalm in the Bible your prayer for the new year? “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom…O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Ps. 90:12, 14).

How do you make the most of the new year? One day at a time. We don’t have one to waste.

Another “how to” post?  Not exactly.  There will be no formula.  No equation.  No list.  No step by step instructions.  But there is a truth – one powerful truth – that can help you make the most of the year ahead.

We measure our lives in years.  God measures them in days.  Read Psalm 90 and notice the Lord’s emphasis on “the days of our years.”

The way to make the most of the year is to make the most of the days.  One day at a time.  In fact, very ordinary days can turn in to an extraordinary year.

ship_at_sea_sunset_400When the journal of the famed explorer Christopher Columbus was discovered, one entry seemed to fill most days.  It was only three words.  There was little adventure or exhilaration in it.  The simple entry: “We sailed on.”

Many days that is all we are supposed to do!  Sail on.  Columbus is remembered for his discoveries, but it was his persistence that made it possible.  Joaquin Miller wrote the following words about the pioneering spirit that sets such men apart:

BEHIND him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: “Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’ “
“My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak.”
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day,
‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’ “
They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
Until at last the blanched mate said:
“Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead.
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dead seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say” —
He said, “Sail on! sail on! and on!”
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
“This mad sea shows his teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?”
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”
Then pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck —
A light! a light! at last a light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”


At this time of year there is a great deal of thought about what lies behind and a great deal of talk about what lies before.  That is all fine.  But remember that life is not lived in the past or the future.  It is lived in the present.

It is lived today.  It is lived one day at a time.  The watchword of the year is: Sail on!


Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey exists to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, encourage pastors and local churches, and equip believers to walk with God and serve Him each day. Through audio, video, and print resources we are seeking to preach the gospel, teach the Word of God, and reach this generation for Christ.

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