Do you remember what you did every day last year?
I don't, or at least I didn't think I did.
My memory is sub-par to say the least. I can remember the name of every bus stop in the TriMet system, but it takes a whole lot of work to even remember what I ate yesterday.
I keep a journal, in a matter of speaking. Because my hands get cramped when I write with a pen, I instead use this nifty app called "Captain's Log" which allows me to record an audio log entry and automatically sends it to a folder in my Google Drive. It's about as easy as it gets if I want to remember what I did every day.
This became important when I realized that I wanted to determine exactly when I have finished every Star Trek novel I have read. So far, I have read 42 books since June 2015. Determining when I have read them will help me know the statistics of what my best reading months have been and what I could expect if I decided to be more committed to realistic reading goals.
So, I printed a list of the books I read and went to work. Often, I could attach a memory, such as a day trip to Mt. St. Helens or a vacation to Atlanta, with each book, helping me to have a basic time structure to work with. Instagram posts of which book I read helped quite a bit as well, as one would expect.
But this didn't provide enough detail to find when I read every book. So, I accessed my Google Timeline, which keeps track of everywhere my phone goes for every day. Kinda spooky, but also very helpful.
So I looked at every day for like a year and a half, trying to find when I went to my Butler Starbucks that I spend most reading time at, or when I went to other locations to read. I then cross-referenced my trips with the audio log entries I recorded and was able to get each book down to an accuracy of about one or two weeks. Good enough for what I needed.
What amazed me, however, was how much of the year I actually remembered. Many days, I went from home to work then back home again. Sundays and Wednesdays I went to church. But at least two or three days a week there was somewhere I went that was unique, and I would say to myself, "I remember that!"
This really surprised me. I realized how much I really did in a year that seemed relatively uneventful. I was reminded of my successes as well as my failures. I took joy in that days when I did awesome and inspiring things, and felt shame for the days when I recall I was less than perfect.
I was reminded that every day matters. Everything we do is retained in our minds, whether we can recall it or not. And God sees everything we do.
Even when it seems that we are doing very little interesting in life, there is always the opportunity for each day to bring blessing and encouragement to us and the people around us. Every day, God's mercies are new and His plans are enduring. When we feel we are stuck in a rut, every day is a opportunity to get out of that rut and seek after the things that God has for us.
So I was able to determine how much Star Trek reading I accomplished over that 20 month period. But I was also able to see how much happened of even more value, and that is something that makes me even happier.