In search results, countdowns can currently only be sorted by time of creation. It seems natural to want to sort them by time of expiry. Further, this seems like a sensible default sort order to use for dashboard panels.
The background here is I want somewhere to put a reminder of upcoming change freezes, the soonest of which is the most important. In the long term, what I probably really want here is a calendar panel on my dashboard, but calendars are still a prototype at the moment.