Today I started listening to Arabian Nights in the car. It’s about a Persian king who marries a new girl every night and beheads her in the morning because his first wife cheated on him and so he prevents any future wife from getting the chance. This is bad for the morale of the realm. Then the vizier’s daughter, Scheherazade, volunteers to marry the king.
During the night she tells him an exciting story but stops partway through…until the next night. Every night for 1001 nights, she finishes one tale and begins another. In the process, she bears him three sons. At the 1002 night, she runs out of stories. Fortunately, by then, the king has fallen in love with her and ends his practice of a new bride every night.
Aside from classic (and racy!) literature, the idea of coming up with a new thing worth saying every day speaks to me as a daily blogger. There is a constant question—can I say something worthwhile one more day?
On the larger scale, it brings up the question about what we would do daily to save our lives and how long we could keep it up. Would you rather play to a strength or a weakness? If you had to choose a task to preserve your life for 24 more hours, what would it be? If you realize you have nothing left for the next day, how would you spend that last day?
This is more than just some esoteric ice-breaker question or meaningless introspection. It speaks to the idea of purpose—why are you taking up space on this planet? What gives your life meaning? What gets you up in the morning? This is part of why in Matthew 6, Christ calls us to not worry (as opposed to plan) about the future—we don’t know that we have one and today has enough troubles of its own, so how can we make each day worthwhile? Or, like my friend, Heather Holleman puts it, “how can we, each day, “Live with Flair?”
We not only need a life purpose, but a purpose for each and every day that helps move us in discrete steps towards the overall purpose. Fortunately, as a Christian, I have an infinite Lord and Saviour who has no shortage of daily opportunities for me, if I will listen, heed and follow.