Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: 20,000 Days and Counting

The book, "20,000 Days and Counting" by Robert D. Smith is a short read and one that I would recommend, but with a word of caution.

The premise is the author realized, at the time of writing, that he'd been alive for 20,000 days. Always aware of our limited days on this earth, he has spent his life trying to make the most of the time given to him.  Through this short book, Smith encourages his readers with practical instructions for living purposefully, with whatever time we're given on this earth.

I enjoyed this read.  It took me less than an hour to read it and I liked that the author got me thinking about how I carry out my days.  Am I aware and fully present in each moment?  Do I have a plan for the time I have before me, however short or long that is?

At his 20,000th day mark, he took a personal retreat to a hotel and planned out, what he hoped, would be his next 20,000 days.  Based on a personal mission statement he created for himself, Smith chooses to live each of his days, making sure he completes areas of his mission statement.

Like I said, I did enjoy reading this book and was excited to learn more through a Biblical lens since this was a Christian publisher and Smith himself talks about his relationship with Christ in the beginning of the book.  However, I found myself disappointed mid-way through as more and more of the instructions (if not all, really) are SELF-based, that is, they are written from the viewpoint that I am in control of all aspects of my life (short of the day I will die).  There is no leaning in on God and his encouragements of making plans do not come with the caveat of holding them loosely in your hands.  As a planner personality myself, I have learned over the years to hold my plans loosely to allow God room to tweak or even roll out a new set of plans.  Yet, we aren't encouraged in that way.  In fact, as the book goes on and on, it becomes more psychological and somewhat New-Age in philosophy and I found myself yearning to have had more Biblical input and encouragement.  Yes, the Bible does say to "Teach us to number our days" - and we should!  We should be aware of our inevitable death so that we might fully live.  However, we should be looking at the One who would "Teach us" not only to ourselves.

Overall, I did like the perspective Robert Smith lives with and there are a few thoughts that I have taken away from this read that I will apply to my life, in different ways.

*** Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from in return for an honest, unbiased review. ***


  1. hey there, i found your blog when i searched for trail guide info. :) can you email me anythign you would add to your review about it? my email is . i have an 11,8,6 and 4 yr old so it would mainly be for the oldest 2 or 3. thanks!

  2. Hi Mandy!
    Sorry for my delay! I just posted another review of my thoughts on the POE curriculum! I'll email you the link!
    Thanks for stopping by!