The Gift Of A Day

My Mom and I recently watched a movie I never knew existed until the lady at the Family Bookstore informed me of how wonderful it was. Actually I was checking out with no time to waste, on my way to a doctor's appointment, when she almost insisted I buy it. For five bucks, I figured I couldn't be out much if it was a dud. But it wasn't. In hindsight, I believe the persistence of this woman was actually God moving on my behalf. He didn't want me to miss this.

"The Ultimate Gift," based on the book by Jim Stovall, is one of the most impacting movies I think I've ever seen! It really took me by surprise. I can honestly say I have never been moved by another movie in the way I was by this one. 

The basis of the storyline is this: When his wealthy grandfather, Red Stevens dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with twelve tasks – or “gifts” – designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is really most important in life. 

Many of the "gifts" as defined by this movie really do apply to our everyday lives and the challenge is in not losing sight of what they hold for us. This film inspired me but it also made me pause and begin to give serious thought about these gifts, one of which is the title of this post ~ The Gift of a Day.

Do we even consider a new day to be a gift in this fast pace, high tech world we live in? Or are we too busy, distracted and overwhelmed with this thing called life to notice? Do we roll through the day, doing what needs to be done, never giving any real thought to the day itself? Perhaps some of us have been forced to take notice of the delicacy of our days due to tragedy, loss, or illness. Whatever our perceptions are we each have this in common: we are given a brand new day each morning and what we choose to do with it is up to us.

After living life chronically ill these past sixteen years, and living with a disability, I can tell you that many of my days certainly do not feel like much of a gift. Deeply exhausting fatigue, recurrent fevers, headaches, muscle and joint pain, etc. are burdensome and keep me from doing a lot of things I desire to do. Not everyday is like this but many are as I know they are for others also living with chronic illness. So to view each day as a gift when ill can be quite challenging.

But I don't want the days to pass me by; even when I'm not feeling well. I want to acknowldege the gift that each day innately holds. I still want to engage in some part of it if only from bed. Somedays all I can do is look out my window and take in the beauty of that given moment. Sometimes the gift of a day for me is found in savoring a cup of hot tea or listening to beautiful music. Sometimes its in hearing one of my nephew's voices on the phone. Or even in the words that a friend writes on my Facebook wall. Life is fleeting and I've come to see that simple things really do mean the most. And that, despite my circumstances, each new day is filled with fresh mercy from God (Lamentations 3:22-23). Now that is certainly a gift for all of us!

Truthfully, the Gift of a Day can hold something different for everyone. Maybe it's taking in the beauty of an early morning sunrise with your favorite coffee or tea. Maybe it's in moments of quiet solitude. Or maybe it's in enjoying an abundance of good health and energy.

Perhaps the Gift of a Day is being in the presence of those you love. Spending time with God; spending time with family; spending time with friends.

Maybe the Gift of a Day is found in giving; the giving of your time and resources to others who are in need; giving to your community; giving to your neighbor; giving to a stranger.

Or maybe the Gift of a Day is simply found in the time itself. The time to reflect. The time to listen. The time to appreciate. The time to laugh. The time to cry. The time to rest. The time to cherish. The time to pray. The time to discover. The time to embrace. The time to be present.

While none of us are on the proverbial mountaintop every single day, God in His goodness still sends us this precious gift at the start of each morning. And I truly believe there's something for all of us to discover within a new day. So don't overlook it or work through it. Instead, take the time to explore it.

With that thought in mind, I'll leave you with the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why we call it 'The Present'."

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2010

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