On Counting Things
My dad was a man of numbers.
After church I could ask him, “How many today, Dad?”
And he’d tell you the exact number of people in worship that day.
When he came home from his job as a department store manager, he’d have his figures in his hand–the total retail sales for his Liberty House (formerly Rhodes) store location.
Birthdates, birth weights and lengths, anniversaries, and more were recorded in little leather-bound books he kept in his suit jacket pocket. All the mysteries of the world seemed to be there from the perspective of a growing-up girl.
I count things too: steps, chapters left to write, days until gatherings with kids, pounds lost. (That would be 6.6 of the last of those, if anyone’s interested.)
I’m learning to count years as well. Years lived. Possible years left. Dad died of ALS when he was 75. I’m just over five years away from that number.
And yet, what matters most is that my life counts. Daily I try to make the most of my day so that what I do will last beyond my life–that others will find my writings and my example one that helped them know God more deeply.
God commanded the Israelites to number themselves before they entered the Promised Land. Each family was counted. Each family mattered. Each family was chosen by God to enter the Promised Land.
You are numbered by God. You matter. You are chosen. And you’re not just a number, because if you were missing, there would be a void, a gap, a sense of incompleteness in the world around you.
Numbers? Figures? They may seem insignificant, but I know that I count to God. You count to God. And together, we’re more than the sum of each other.
Janet McHenry is a speaker and the author of 24 books–six on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to connect with you: https://www.janetmchenry.com.
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