My family think I have a problem with people passing away. Every time I report that someone notable has died, they conspire to get me to donate £1 to the holiday fund pot. And I can tell you it has been an expensive year, with the likes of Terry Wogan, David Bowie, Prince, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett, Alan Rickman and Paul Daniels leaving us. If any more big names go, I shall be flat broke by the summer.
The suggestion is made by my nearest and dearest that, somehow, I am being unnecessarily morbid. So when I went onto the internet the other day to search for a replacement for my faithful old alarm clock, which unexpectedly gave up the ghost (another quid), I was shocked to come across the digital world’s equivalent of the grim reaper – the ‘28’ clock.
This is a clock that counts down, on average, how many days you have left to live. I kid you not!
The company’s mission statement says, "Your life consists, on average, 28,000 days. No more, no less. If you are 25, you have 19,000 days left to realise your dreams. If you are 45, it leaves you with 12,000 days to do all the things you want to experience in life. Each new day is a chance to continue your amazing journey, and each new day is a chance to change. To start fresh.”
It continues: "You'll be dead soon, but this clock is here to remind you to make the most of each day. For the truth is, you can do and be anything you want. One day at a time."
I don’t know how that is supposed to stop someone from enjoying another duvet day, but it made me think: what motivation do I need to make all of life count?
I used to know an elderly person who would continually say, “If I had my time again, I would [enter a number of different scenarios].” He was really quite a depressing human being to be around. But then I thought what would he make of the terminally-minded ’28’ bedside/travel clock. And what if it came with a reset button to roll back the years? Who wouldn’t be tempted?
Last week a widow told me how the loss of her husband of over 60 years left her feeling guilty of new experiences. She asked me why she had to still be alive when her husband wasn’t?
It made me reflect on the book of Ecclesiastes (the Bible) where the author says, “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”
As someone of faith, I see life as having meaning beyond a random collision of atoms and molecules. Life is spirt-filled. It’s meant to have as much mystery as God himself. And this life, 28,000 days or whatever, is best lived with gratitude, not attitude - regardless of age, background or circumstances. But, as the Bible shows, fullness of life is best enjoyed through a relationship with Jesus, to which there is no end date.
So we can choose to believe each day has purpose because God is faithful. So be free. Be amazing. Be great. Be courageous! Be forgiving. Be kind. Dance. Play. Laugh. Dream. And don’t let life’s limitations limit your imagination. Why not start today with a prayer and see where it takes you?