There’s a LOT of counting going on in my family right now… counting up the months since our newest granddaughter, Hadassah, was born… the count’s up to 6 months !!!
And the counting up to the day our grandson, Luke, turns 18 months old …
while on the exact same day, his sister — our granddaughter — Charlotte, turns the big 3 !!!
Then, in the meantime, we’re counting down the days until our son, Ben, finishes his last final exam and graduates from high school . Added to all of that is our official count down to saying goodbye to our family here (don’t get me started !!!) as we load up the truck and move from CT to AL. On the flip side we’ve got the counting up the days until we see our oldest son and his family in AL and begin living life and ministry in the same area with family and friends we love there (something I get very excited about).
I’m sitting here tonight thinking about all the counting and I should really be counting boxes — packed boxes, that is — and all I’m doing is counting days and trying to figure it all out … the emotions seem to go down and up too. Down seems negative and up seems positive and yet we seem to do both– counting down and counting up for a major event in our lives. I ask the question… do you count UP or do you count DOWN? What means what? ( hmmm…weird sentence )
So since “pondering” these things helps me process… I pondered right onto Google and looked up some interesting facts. Did you know that…
“The counting up method involves viewing a subtraction problem from a perspective that focuses on adding.”
“A countdown is a sequence of counting backward to indicate the seconds, days, or other time units remaining before an event occurs or a deadline expires.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countdown
Counting down seems to count down exact days in which the number is already known — and the event is anxiously awaited or anxiously dreaded.
Counting up seems to be the way of taking something that actually is negative or subtracting in nature and focusing on the “adding” to get the answer.
My “counting the days” goes something like this… our last child is graduating in 5 days, we’re throwing a big party to celebrate that event in 9 days, we’re celebrating our granddaughter’s 3rd birthday in 15 days, then start saying goodbyes and load the truck to move out in 18 days . Continuing on, we’ll probably say hello, with great excitement, to our oldest son and his family in AL in 20 days ! So I have to ask the question again… am I “counting down” or “counting up” ???
It seems that counting down has to do with going backward… counting up –going forward. The last “method” seems to give a better perspective to life for me… whereas counting down reminds me of a bomb about to explode…10, 9, 8, 7 , 6… you get the picture !
If I’m counting up the days… there’s always a positive outlook on whatever it may be because I’m “adding” the whole time — not subtracting. I’m adding life to each day that I have instead of holding my breath each day , depriving of life until the answer or event comes. I could be so sad about our last child graduating and our whole family being completely discombobulated in the process of moving or I could choose, instead, to count the blessings of each day and add them up. I can choose to “count up” to the day of graduation as a day our son begins an adventure God has in store for him…and an adventure God has in store for me as I learn to do life a little differently than I have done in the last 26 years !!! The great thing about adding is you never get to the end !!! There’s always more!! You know… “to infinity and beyond” !
And wouldn’t you know… God actually has something to say about this too…
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:11-13 (NIV)
It’s the principle of adding … numbering… we don’t know the answer yet — we’re just adding each day as it comes with the joys and struggles and uncertainties each day might bring. And in that adding… we end up adding up our blessings.
“As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away, you know how I’m feeling, Know the danger I’m in, the traps hidden in my path. …I cry out, God, call out: ‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’ Oh listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low…Get me out of this dungeon so I can thank you in public. Your people will form a circle around me and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!”
Psalm 142:2-4 (The Message)
So after “pondering” this thought long and hard, I think I found the answer to my question… I’m counting up! I’m going to number each day on the calendar … counting up the moments I got to spend with people I love, counting up the moments I saw God in the every day life-stuff and felt His presence breathing life into mine, counting up even the struggles and wrestling moments — even the suffering — knowing that somewhere that suffering is going to count UP to something good somehow (that’s just the way God works His math). So today I’m choosing to do what the old hymn told us to do years ago… “Count your blessings …name them one by one…count your many blessings see what God has done !” I’m “counting up” to Ben’s graduation, “counting up” to moving day, “counting up” to the new adventure God has mapped out for us.
Are you ‘counting up” to anything? I love a good story !