I’ve been through some dark times, days when I wondered if God had forgotten I existed or had simply decided to punish me for my many sins. I have faced depression and anxiety, rejection, loneliness, fear, hatred, being over-looked and discarded, and other negative emotions and experiences. I have also faced days when I thought the world was crashing in because I couldn’t meet a deadline or my laundry wasn’t done when I wanted to wear that special shirt. None of you have ever done that, right?
One day several years ago, I got frustrated over an assignment that couldn’t be completed without the input of colleagues who were not cooperating. After work I called a friend to complain about what a bad day I was having. She listened to me for about 60 seconds and then told me to turn on the news. In stunned silence, I watched the end of a report on foster parents who had just been arrested for sexually abusing the children in their “Christian” home. When the report ended, my friend quietly told me that she was the social worker who had trained those foster parents and placed the children in their care. She was responsible for overseeing them. She had no idea of the abuse taking place. There were no signs. She was devastated. Can you imagine?
I’ll never forget her words to me: “This is a bad day.”
That situation taught me a lot about perspective.
During one of my darker days, I longingly remembered some good days I’d had. I had good friends and an active social life, a good job with relative calm, and there were no major problems shaking my world. But as I looked back I realized that I had not fully enjoyed nor appreciated those days. I had allowed worry over things like losing 20 pounds or not having enough money to get a facial to steal my joy.
That day I made a commitment to appreciate the good days. Using the perspective I had learned, I’d put aside temporary struggles and be thankful for the day I had been given. I would learn to declare good days GOOD. So these days I often stop in the middle of a day to evaluate how things are going. There is such joy in recognizing the good days when they come. I declare the day GOOD, thank God for it, and try to be fully present in each moment. Rather than missing the joy of that moment because I’m fretting over something I won’t remember in two weeks, I soak it in and use all five of my senses to enjoy it.
Last week I spent the night at a spiritual retreat center. Alone in a little cabin on 225 acres in the country, I could be as loud or quiet as I wanted to be. The weather was perfect and I had nowhere else to be. It was just me and God, and He gave me a peaceful spirit. I explored creeks and woods, sat by a fire, read some good books, wrote in my journal, and prayed. I sat in the sun on my flagstone porch and listened to the sounds of nature all around me. I disciplined myself not to dwell on my problems, but to enjoy the moment. After leaving there, I got to hang out with many good friends in a relaxed, casual atmosphere full of celebration. I came home happy, tired, and satisfied.
It was A GOOD DAY.
How long has it been since you had a good day?