And on the first day

One dog licked her back paw, the other chewed a bone. The washing machine whirred from the next room.

It was the first day of the rest of his life.

He scoffed under his breath. “Cliche much?” he muttered. But it was true. He had awakened very much aware of his mortality. His neck ached. He walked slowly and gingerly through the house. His body, never particularly athletic or toned, felt worn.

He had listened while Bob Goff read his book Everybody, Always over the last couple of days. It was a book about love and forgiveness and the supernatural power of Christ, and overcoming through persistence and that forgiveness and love.

“Persistence,” he scoffed, thinking of his lack there. Still, today was the first day of the rest of his life.

He remembered writing about the second day, a long time ago — how if you stumble on the first day, then you can start on the second day of the rest of your life, or on the third day, and all you’ve lost are a couple of days.

Or — and the insight crashed against him like an ocean wave on a windy day — was the idea all along to treat every day like the first day? The first day of any new venture is full of promise and hope and energy and “You can do this” because nothing has gone wrong — perhaps a little bit of anxiety because it’s new and unknown, but there’s all the excitement of a new beginning, a new hope, a new direction.

“Today is the first day …” and it’s always today. Every day is a new first day, a new promise, and a new hope.

Every day is the first day of the rest of your life — and suddenly he was excited, and he knew how to live, and to love. He wasn’t sure he could be that refreshed and ready every day, but it was the anxious optimism of the first day on the job, the eagerness of the first day of vacation, and the joyousness of a wedding day. It was the discovery of a cliche turned over and examined to find a new meaning, perhaps its intended-all-along meaning.

He saw at last, and every day became the first day from then on.

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