Number the Days

Number the Days

Author: Debbie Trafton O'Neal
July 01, 2020

Numbering the Days

153. One hundred fifty-three. 

That is the number of days on a little yellow post-it note by my front door.  Today.

Tomorrow, that number will be rewritten – 152.  The day after that, it will be 151.

I don’t know about you, but the days go on and on and on lately…. From disruption to disruption. From big numbers to even bigger numbers. From news cycle to news cycle. 

As we went around our ZOOM meeting with GLC staff today, my turn came.  I held up my post-it note. And I explained why this number meant something to me today.

Little did I expect such a great discussion to come from my little yellow post-it note. 

Here’s what we talked about, discussed, shared and dissected about the number 153:

In John 21: 1-11, you know – the story of Peter going back to his regular fishing gig after Jesus died, and he and a few other disciples fished all night -- but caught nothing.In the morning, a man on the shore asked them what they caught.When they said nothing, he told them to put their nets out again on the right side of the boat – and when they pulled it in, the net was so full they had to drag it to the beach!Then, they realized the man was Jesus.And their catch, which a fisherman would always want to keep track of, was 153 fish!

One hundred fifty-three – that’s an abundant catch!A blessing from God – a net filled to overflowing.
What does 153 symbolize?Could it represent 153 different species of fish?Or people? Or races?

Digging deeper, we talked about how adding up the number of miracles that Jesus performed in his life on earth – you guessed it, we get 153!Forty-eight separate incidents where Jesus touched someone’s life and changed it – all adding up to my number for today -- 153.

My number 153 meant a lot more after our discussion than it did when I wrote it in thick black marker on my yellow post-it note.  And I wondered how God might be speaking to me, to us, in that number 153.  About people and blessings and abundance overflowing.  About Jesus touching people’s lives and changing them for the better.

And then, as in Psalm 13, I wondered, How long, oh Lord?

How long…. Until we see enough numbers decline that we can actually relax and spend time laughing and eating and singing with our family and friends? 

How long…. Until death from this virus is a thing of the past?

How long…. Until we can see with clear eyes the injustice in the world? 

How long…Until we speak up and then get up and actually do something to make this world a world of peace, a world we want to leave for our children and their children and our neighbors children and their children?

And my number 153?  The number of days until I get to exercise my right to vote as an American citizen. 

Numbering the days.


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