With the baseball playoffs finally set and football on every hand, we’re reminded that success is generally measured by who manages to finish the strongest and hold the lead at the end. A NASCAR driver may dominate the middle part of the race, but if his car falls off toward the end, he won’t win. A Ryder Cup golfer may lead for most of his match, but if his opponent comes on strong the last few holes, he’ll go into loss column. In team sports, the deciding points sometimes come as the result of a fluke play or a missed call.

Despite the sports-crazed nature of our culture, I find the focus on winning to be increasingly bothersome. Players can give their very best effort and perform well throughout a game, but if they’re not ahead at the end, no matter how close, they’re branded as losers. 

I’m glad that life doesn’t play out as a game in which everything depends on how successful we are at the end. Every day counts. Every sunrise brings another opportunity to live and to love as Christ called us. Every evening offers space for reflection and recharging. Our goal is not to accumulate points toward a life-concluding victory, but to live daily as people who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Every day counts.

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