I turned 40 today.
That means I’ve been alive for 1,261,440,000 seconds. Not that anyone’s counting.
Based on the latest life expectancy stats, I’m a little over half way through the journey on this little planet called earth. And I’m okay with that. People will inevitably approach their own mortality in different ways. For me, as I’ve come to know the counter-cultural teachings of Jesus, I’ve discovered that death is a part of life—but not eternal life. So with that in mind it doesn’t matter if I’m 20, 40 or 90 because I’m just getting started.
Up to 40, I’ve invested huge portions of my life in hockey games and Halloween candy, in fretting about girls and writing songs, in laughing with friends and staying up too late, in making mistakes and trying to swallow regrets, in tipping canoes and wondering why mosquitoes exist, in falling in love and never looking back, in battling darkness and looking for light, in leading a church and learning how awesome people are.
I’m also raising children and doing my best to live out my faith in practical ways. It’s a stumbling harmony on the path of obedience.
So what have I learned? A tonne! But let me share one principle that has repeatedly changed my life, and may also change yours:
Today is the best day to change.
Maybe you just tuned out. ‘Yeah, I know that,’ you say. But do you?
I’m a recovering procrastinator. If you want an excuse not to do something, give me a call, and I’ll give you a list. But through a continual process of falling-and-getting-up-again I’ve learned that putting important things off is the same as saying they don’t matter.
In fact, who you are tomorrow is often tied to who you are today. Ergo, today is the best day to change.
Want a stronger relationship? Invest today.
Want a different career? Start researching today.
Want to get in shape? Schedule a workout today.
Want a more robust faith? Follow Jesus today.
Somewhere deep within each one of us, we already know this. If you want to ask someone to the high school prom and don’t do anything about it (soon!) you’ll miss the opportunity. So why don’t we apply the same logic to other areas of our lives?
Missed opportunities are usually skipped opportunities.
I think all of this is hard because we live in a time of chronic distraction. Beeping phones, non-stop headlines, packed schedules, easy credit, and general societal panic leave us about as calm and collected as jackhammers.
Stop wasting time on things that don’t matter. Start investing time in things that do.
As Craig Groeschel puts it, “You can make excuses or you can make progress, but you can’t make both.” Figuring out which is which may be the hardest thing you ever do. But it may also be the most rewarding.
I remember feeling frustrated with my music career. So I walked through the front doors of a record company with my guitar so I could play them some songs. Then there was the time I wondered if I should pursue ordination. So I went to the seminary with a handful of questions. I also remember looking down and seeing more stomach than I had planned on seeing! So I downloaded a few new songs and put on my running shoes.
On this side of the soil I probably have about 1.2 billion seconds left. What about you?
Stop wasting time on things that don’t matter. Starting investing time in things that do. And I’m guessing that by now you probably already know what needs to happen next.
Today is the best day to change.