“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” These were the opening words to the soap opera my great aunt watched when I would visit her growing up as a young child. Her interest in the storyline became mine, and much to my dismay today, I watched off and on through high school and college. Today, a new generation is more likely to spend their time watching reality TV or Netflix, playing video games, and engaging with social media.
But if these are, in fact, the “days of our lives,” what are we doing with them? Are we living on purpose and with intention? Do our lives have meaning? Or do the days assigned to us simply slip by as those sands through the hourglass? Are we at risk of wasting our lives, distracted by many trivial things, losing focus on the One thing?
Each year, I choose a word or theme and a Scripture to focus on. This year, my word is “abundance.” Abundance means extremely plentiful, an over-sufficient quantity, overflowing fullness. It makes me think of more than I could need, lavish, extravagant. We see God is a God of abundant redemption (Psalm 130:6). He doesn’t just offer a little or a partial amount or even just enough, but it overflows. His redemption is plentiful and full.
Not only is this redemption abundant, but we are intended to live abundant lives here and now as we wait on an abundant eternal life. John 10:10 tells us “Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly.” What does it look to live life from this abundance that God has given—to overflow to others out of the abundance He has poured out on us?
Into my new year with this new theme and verse, Catherine Morgan’s* new book Thirty Thousand Days arrived in the mail. I opened the introduction: “Live Abundantly” with John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” As I began to read, I found echoes of all that God has been revealing to me in this perfectly timed book.
The title of Catherine’s book (Thirty Thousand Days) is a reference to the average number of days that we have in our lifetimes. The subtitle “The Journey Home to God” reminds us that we are meant for another home, another place. The book is a call to live the abundant life that we are offered in Christ (John 10:10): to see eternally, worship wholeheartedly, walk purposefully, care passionately, give generously, hold loosely, love deeply, stand firm, choose light, and rest (the titles of the chapters).
Catherine talks about transformation and asks, “How do we spend the days granted for us? How do we live abundantly, fully, richly, deeply satisfied before the sand in the hourglass is gone?” These are the questions the book answers. Each chapter provides another answer to what the abundant life is. Each one deepens our understanding of what it can be.
Catherine concludes Thirty Thousand Days considering the time when she will meet Jesus face to face, what He might say, and how she might answer—and what that means for life now.
“What would it look like to live full, to live free? How might a person’s life be transformed by joy? What would it look like to really understand that you are fully loved, uniquely created, and designed for a purpose, and to live a life abandoned to the will of God?”
It’s obvious Catherine wants her life to matter, to pour it all out for Christ, and she wants to show us why we should want this, too. Not only is the book full of biblical truth, it is filled with beautiful writing. Catherine has a gift with words, and when those words communicate truth, they become a gift to the reader. There is also a Group Study Guide at the end so that you can go through this material with a small group or a friend and do more than read, but digest and apply.
*Catherine Morgan is a regular contributor at God Centered Life. She lives in Aurora, Colorado, with her husband Michael and three kids. She is the author of Thirty Thousand Days, published by Christian Focus Publications. Visit her blog at catherinesletters.com and find her on Twitter.
Carolyn Litfin is executive assistant at College Church in Wheaton. She is the wife of a college professor and mom to two high school students. You can find her at her blog, www.praiseproclaimer.com, and on Twitter.