A new year has begun. 2015 – has it really been 15 years since the whole world collectively sang Prince’s 1999, and secretly worried whether or not Y2K would really be the beginning of the end. Fifteen years seems like forever, and then again it seems like just yesterday.

I read an article recently written by a young mother who is living, and dying, with terminal cancer. Kara writes, “The real wrestling in living and in dying is always a wrestle for a number.” The truth is we all would love to have that number, because regardless of whether we’ve received a terminal diagnosis, we’re all dying.

We all get so many days on this earth, but we don’t get to know how many days that will be. So really, the question can never be how many days, but rather how will I spend my days.

Time is the most precious gift we will ever receive. We are only allotted so much of it. Writer Ann Voskamp describes our allotted time like diamonds. She says that if you live to be 90 years old, you get to live 4,680 weeks. Imagine each week is like a .05-carat diamond. If you multiply that diamond by the number of weeks in 90 years, it adds up to just less than one tablespoon of diamonds. Time is so precious that all the weeks of your life here on earth might add up to a spoonful of diamonds. Ann goes on to say that people often spend their one Spoonful of Diamonds complaining that their diamonds aren’t good enough, shiny enough, or beautiful enough. Sadly, some people ignore this diamond while wishing for another diamond, not enjoying this diamond because they’re too busy, too distracted, or too stressed. She says to remember that the best way to spend your one Spoonful of Diamonds is to deeply enjoy each and every one’ and invest each and every one in ways that every one can know deep joy.

A few years ago, a movement began to choose One Word for the year. The idea is that you pick one word on which to focus for the year. It is meant to replace broken promises or resolutions with a focus (vision) for change. From the hundreds of inspirational words to choose from, one word continues to jump from the page shouting “pick me, pick me!” Intentional is defined as done in a way that is planned or intended; deliberate, or purposeful. It’s my desire to be intentional with each of my days, no matter how many days I’m given. To spend each day, each week, each diamond wisely, and not squander a one. As I am deliberate, or purposeful, in my interactions with friends, family, and colleagues, I am spending each diamond wisely.

Time is a gift. Fifteen years, and then fifty years goes by in a flash. We don’t get to choose how many days we have, but we do get to choose how we spend those days. How will you spend yours?

Randel C. Goad – Mandt Faculty Supervisor