Sunday, October 14th, 2018.
It was a day like any other day, I suppose. The 287th day of the year. Just twenty four hours long or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds, if you are counting. In these parts it was a typical autumn day, a bit breezy, with a bright blue sky and then later temps dropping to a chilly 41 degrees as the sun went down and the sliver of an orange moon rose in the sky.
Do you remember what that one day was like for you?
What you did? What you ate? The music you listened to in the car, the expression on your face in the mirror as you shaved, the feel of a warm embrace as your kid hugged you, the softness of your elderly parent's cheek as you kissed them in welcome for another Sunday visit?
Remember? Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not.
For most humans: we have so many days to live that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to recall the minute and mundane, the beautiful and the boring moments of just one day out of so many. Which if you think about it is kind of sad. Because the truth is that a day, say like last Sunday: it never, ever happened before and it will never, ever happen again, so to let it slip by unnoticed, to banish it to memory, never to be retrieved, is a lost opportunity, a forgotten blessing, even.
There are rare folks who actually remember every single day, almost every single moment, in life. These souls have hyperthymesia, the ability to recall much of their lives in very specific detail. In ten years ask them about last Sunday the 14th and they will tell you what the stranger sitting across them on the subway was wearing.
I don't think I want to recall that much experience and yet I do wish and pray I could be more conscious, more alive to and wide awake to, the precious and miraculous gift that is every sun up and sun down, every turn of the daily calendar page. I want to live by the wise words of the ancient author who declared, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
So--what was last Sunday, October 14, 2018, like for you? Try and recall, call it back. Guaranteed that on that one day you were blessed somehow. You were immersed in some experience that changed you: for the good, for the better, for sure.
Every day does change the universe, change us.
So now I do remember that one day...the wide open smile and enveloping arms of an enthusiastic five year old boy who wrapped himself around my legs as I finished up worship. He just wanted to say "HI!". I remember going to the Patriots game and being incredibly cold but so excited and happy: to watch a nail biting, nerve wracking game with my brother and four cousins, a rare gathering, then to finally get home at one a.m., so exhausted and so thankful. It was a day to put up on the shelf and then take down later and remember with deep thankfulness.
And there is this day too. This Monday, now the 15th of October. A raw and cold and rainy day. A smoky cup of coffee to drink by my side and another essay to write about life, about this one day. The mistake I make is to somehow see this more "everyday" day as disposable or forgettable or something to quickly move on from because, well, it is just another day. Right?
But here's the truth. This day, that day, each day, today, all days: these are not just any days. These are instead days that will only happen once in a long string of tens of thousands of days that we all, incredibly, actually get to live. Get to breathe in and breathe out. Get to watch our kids grow up, and feel ourselves grow older and witness the world rock and roll with so much change and so much challenge and so much energy.
We get to experience all of it, every single minute.
So thank you God: for October 14th, 2018. The 15th too. Let me rejoice and be glad in it. Let us all take this one day too, whatever the date, and then use it up and use it well, every last second. Because when it is gone, it is gone.
All that really matters is...today.