Mastering days is a lot harder than creating a future.
Just warning you, I’m going to make up a bunch of words here.
It’s the only way I can get my point across in a world that despises daily living. We have words for years – The Golden Years, The Best Years of Your Life, A Year to Remember, Happy New Year!
We have words for months – Month-at-a-glance, April showers bring may flowers, January thaw, November to remember, a month of Sundays.
We even have words for weeks – Flavor of the week, week in week out, a week from next Tuesday.
Somehow it’s easier for us to look far ahead and hope for a future that’s brighter than… today. Most of us hope only to get through the day. Days are drudgery.
But Annie Dillard was on to something when she wrote, “How we spend our day, of course, is how we spend our lives.”
It is in that spirit that I propose these five best practices for every day…
Intentional
It turns out that the key to living life intentionally is not so much setting personal goals and chasing your dreams as understanding the intention of God.
What is God doing?
What is his goal?
Why am I here?
These are not questions for theologians and philosophers but for you and me. They allow us to keep our balance when our world shifts under us.
It will help to remember that God designed your life intentionally. He was not a Dr. Frankenstein, experimenting in a divine laboratory, but a skilled master designer, intentionally creating first a man, then a woman and populating his world for the purpose of providing life to the full and bringing glory to himself.
That’s a lot to take in but it’s a great place to start the day.
Imitate
Not the same as “impersonate.” I love Frank Caliendo (especially his John Madden) He is a master of how to look and sound like someone. His success depends on appearing like someone not being like someone.
Imitation is taking on a new persona not your own. Its finding someone who lives well and aiming to live that way. You might find this person in a book, in a movie, in a church, in a workplace or, in a family.
When you do, imitate shamelessly! Clone that person. Live likewise.
But avoid the impersonators of life who appear to be someone they’re not. Better to stay yourself than to become someone else who’s living a lie.
Replicate
Take your best day. It might be crazy busy or crazy lazy, but for some reason it was a good day.
Slept late
Rose early
Watched TV
Wrote a letter
Worked out
Left early
Stayed
Chances are the day’s success had nothing to do with any of these things but rather with you. You were in any or all of these, and you were responsible.
You can’t replicate what every day brings, but you can replicate what you bring to every day.
Bring it!
Missional
There should be a verb for “mission.” Now there is!
Mission is less what you do than who you are. It drives everything forward like a pebble in a pool. It precedes purpose, plan and strategy – those words that are trendy in our culture of success.
It is the Who behind the Why and the What.
Ask yourself every day, “Who am I?” Don’t allow what you have done or what you have to do to confuse you on this.
Be like Jesus who came, “not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.” That’s what he did because of who he was.
Who are you today?
Celebrate!
Those of us who celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are missing out on the un-holidays. These are the in between days that make up our lives. They are more real than the rest because they claim no distinction except being an ordinary part of your daily living.
So make the ordinary extraordinary by pausing to celebrate a moment. The Buddhists call this “mindfulness.” I call it living in the moment. My friend, Bertha, told me, “If I’m going to live, I’m going to live.”
You go girl!
Hey, have a good day!