Sometimes counting the days is the proper thing to do. For example, my administrative colleagues and I have been doing just that as we map out the calendar for the 2016-17 academic year. We have a target range of student contact days for the year, a goal to make each of the four quarters as close in length to each other as possible, and the need to measure the impact of the timing of various holidays on each year’s schedule. So it makes good sense that we count the days carefully.
Conversely, I am also especially aware at this time of year how counting the days can be counterproductive even though it is an irresistible temptation for many of us. How many of us are counting the days until Christmas (or actually Christmas break!). I confess to doing just that more often than I would like. For those of us who are Christians, this runs counter to the wisdom and beauty of the Advent season. This is a time for living in the moment, a time of watchful waiting, a time for living in serene anticipation rather than impatient calendar-watching.
As the days of December become increasingly frantic, we need to return to the beauty of living in the here and now. After all, no matter how and whether we count the days, each of us has only one day that matters: today. Many years ago (before we even knew each other) my wife Jan co-founded a support group in St. Louis for people living with cancer. The name of the group was Make Today Count. That is a helpful and hopeful mantra for each of us no matter our circumstances. We need less counting the days and more making each day count.
Until next time…