As Ray lay on a gurney waiting for cataract surgery in February, scads of assistants bustled around their desks and the several patients who were in various stages of preparation. He overheard a conversation between two of them:
“How many days does this month have?” asked one assistant.
“I don’t think it has as many as the others,” came the reply.
Ray thought, “These people are going to be helping a guy cut on my eye in a few minutes!”
When God created the sun, moon, and stars on day 4 of the Creation week, He declared:
Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens
to separate the day from the night,
and they shall serve as signs and for seasons,
and for days and years . . . .
Since God made people to live in His Universe, we have been living in time.
Here’s a Colgate clock in Clarksville, Indiana, . . .
a steam clock in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, . . .
a kitchen clock in President Eisenhower’s childhood home, and . . .
a clock in the Eisenhower back parlor.
God has given us days and nights, seasons and years. In elementary school, Ray and I learned a version of this Mother Goose rhyme:
Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
And that has twenty-eight days clear
And twenty-nine in each leap year.
Therefore we were surprised that two grown, educated women didn’t know how many days are in February. Admittedly, I still sometimes tap my knuckles and the spaces in between to remember the number of days in some of the other months, but the number of days in February has been embedded in my brain since childhood.
By the way, do you know the knuckle and spaces trick? Make a fist. Tap your pointer finger knuckle and then the space and then your center finger knuckle and then the space until you reach your pinky. Tap your pinky again and return in the same way until you reach your center finger knuckle. Say the months of the year as you tap. Each month you say when you tap a knuckle has 31 days. Each month you say when you tap a space has 30 days “excepting February alone, and that has twenty-eight days clear and twenty-nine in each leap year.”
Living in time is one of God’s many blessings. We get to rise up and start a new day. We get to begin a new week and a new month and to praise God for a new season.
More importantly, we get to make the most of our time. You are living in the childhoods of your children. This is a precious, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you for making the most of those precious moments and days and nights and seasons and years.
So then, be careful how you walk,
not as unwise people but as wise,
making the most of your time,
because the days are evil.