“You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence…” Psalm 16:11

20,000 Days perspective

What difference would it make if you knew your life purpose and lived intentionally, seeing each day as a gift, celebrating life, maximizing your relationships, and dedicating 100% of your life to God, bringing Him glory in all you do?

I read a great book this week. It’s 20,000 Days and Counting, by Robert D. Smith. It’s a simple book, and can be read in about an hour.  When he wrote the book, at age 54, he had been alive about 20,000 days.

The idea is that life is short, yet each day is a gift you are given from God.  Maximize each day and don’t waste a single second.  What could you do with 20,000 days?  How different would our lives be and how much would we accomplish if we lived each day on purpose?

So, reading this book made me think.   What have I done with the days I’ve lived so far, and how can I apply this to my life?  I used the days calculator he has on his website and I have been alive 15,613 days.   Wow, that’s a huge portion of 20,000 already.  What legacy am I leaving?  What am I doing each day to celebrate life and live intentionally?

Of course, it also made me wonder what difference would this make if we applied the 20,000 days principle to marriages and parenting.  Think about it for a second.

Let’s say you have and average of 18 years with your children to really make an impact before they move out, go to college, etc.  That’s 6,575 days.   That’s not very many.   Would you do anything differently?  What would your priorities and focus be?  How would you spend that time?   What would you do each day to celebrate, create memories, and leave a legacy?  How many days do you have left with each of your children?

(In the book, he focuses on counting up the days, not counting down.  But I wanted to stop and look at what the reality is of how much time we have in the formative years directly influencing our children while they are in our home.  I agree with counting up and going way beyond just the first 18 years.)

Now what about marriage?  How would this apply?   God brought a thought to my mind.  It’s a change of mindset, really.  Statistically, we know that about 50% of marriages in our country end in divorce.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average length of first marriages that end in divorce is 7 years.  That is 2,557 days.

What difference would it make if we entered marriage and focused on being intentional, having purpose, and celebrating each of those first 2,557 days.  Seeing our marriages as a gift.  Celebrating each moment.  Really getting to know the needs of our spouse and how to meet them. Spending time together.  Making memories.  Being grateful for the little things.   Having 100% devotion and commitment to doing everything possible to make them the best 2,557 days of our life so far.  Investing in our relationship and living each day as if it were our last one together.


I have not done the research to prove it, but it seems that at the end of those first 7 years, we could have more strong marriages and less marriages that end in divorce.  It’s something interesting to think about.  Surely it would make an impact!

So, how many days have you been alive?  What are you going to do today that will make a difference not only in your day, but in your life?  How are you going to live your next 20,000 days—-starting today?





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