BY REV. ANN MANN
Have you ever wished for one more day?
My daughter and I just returned from a wonderful trip to New York City. I had never been and had always dreamed of going. Knowing this, my husband gave me a voucher (one of those homemade kind) promising a trip to the Big Apple. Upon his passing, my daughter agreed to go with me. I wanted to see the 9-11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park and a Broadway Show. We did it ALL!
As we were making our way by taxi back to the airport, I was fairly certain it was the last trip I would ever take. Our taxi driver drove way too fast, followed far too close, and slammed on the breaks so many times I have bruises as souvenirs. I spent the entire drive praying for one more day. Has that ever happened to you?
What will we do if God gives us one more day?
When I arrived home from my New York City Trip, I had a special package waiting for me. I had sent off some old VHS tapes to be converted to digital media. The first thing I did when I got home was start watching those old movies. It was wonderful seeing these old videos of the ones I have loved and lost. Hearing their voices. Seeing their smiling faces. I wished for one more day with each of them.
As I watched those videos, there was an unexpected gift. I got to relive the moments when I first held my children in my arms. I remember thinking there was nothing I wouldn’t do for my children. Often, our parents put the needs of their children first. That is what God does for us. God gave everything for us. God gave his Son, so that our sins might be forgiven, and we might have new life in Christ.
We have been given the gift of one more day. How will we spend it?
The play my daughter and I went to see in New York City was “Into the Woods.” It has also been made into a movie (which I have not yet seen.) The play takes several popular fairy tales (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood) and weaves them together. The first act was full of “happily ever afters”. But in the second act, we see the twists and turns life can take when we venture into the woods.
(Spoiler alert). Tragedy befalls them all. Then they spend time blaming each other, instead of taking responsibility for their own choices. By the end of the play, we learn the moral of the story, “Careful the tale you tell, because children will listen.” Our words matter.
Sitting next to my daughter, who is expecting her first child (my first grandchild), the words were a beautiful reminder. Make each day count. Speak the truth. Live with integrity. Honor commitments. During this season of giving thanks, I give thanks for the gift of one more day.
I pray the words of Colossians 2:6-7, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” With the gift of one more day, I pray we use it to glorify God in whatever we do. We all have one more day. How will we spend this gift?
Ann Mann is an Emmy Award winning journalist, now serving as pastor to Barnesville First United Methodist Church. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.