Have a good day!” That’s a kind of greeting you hear just about every day from someone. Occasionally I’ll get “Have a great day,” or “Have a blessed day,” or some other variation of the wish that you have a day that has good stuff in it. There are those who resent that kind of thing. “Don’t tell me what kind of day to have!” Yes, that’s a bit snarky, but then people can be very snarky and really have nothing against the people who wish them a good day or a great day or a blessed day or any other kind of day.
There are some days that are better than others, like days when you don’t hit every red light when you’re late leaving the house for work, or you forgot you were out of milk until after you’d poured the cereal in the bowl, the days with flat tires, burst water pipes, leaky faucets, sick cats, and all manner of small to enormous disasters that can really mess up a day. It’s funny though, it’s all in how you look at it.
This week has been a series of “Lord help me!” days but with some truly brilliant flashes of hallelujah! Thursday was one of those days. Back home it was a day of celebration because it was the 236th anniversary of Cornwallis’s surrender George Washington in my little home town. It was and still is a big celebration with lots of activities both fun and educational.
There was a special day (I won’t say how many years ago), when our family was increased by a new baby, my brother’s first child. It was on Yorktown Day, and the whole family was just overjoyed. She really was a cute baby. It was memorable, a new baby on the day we celebrated a conclusion to almost all the fighting to gain our independence.
Then, 17 years and a few hours later and half a world away, another baby was born on Yorktown Day. He almost missed it, being born only nine minutes before midnight. I had been so hoping he’d wait at least one more day, but he was in a hurry. This was my son, and he was born in the Philippines, miles and miles away from Yorktown. But my little town was still very much in my mind when they finally showed me my child and I compared him to the memory of the little girl born 17 years previously. It was interesting to see the differences, but of course, my son was probably the best-looking baby you ever saw.
We celebrate days the secular days and sacred days, and customs vary on how we do it. We celebrate secular days like July 4 when the Declaration of Independence was signed. We make it a day of picnics and pool parties, hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelons, potato salad, fireworks, and the whole bit. It’s quite a day. I could go on and on, but I believe you get the point. It commemorates a day when we lit a fire that took until October 19, 1781, to quench. The result was a new nation, conceived in liberty – a goal which we are still spending our days trying to comprehend the meaning of and the way to make it work for everyone.
There are some days that are better than others, like days when you don’t hit every red light when you’re late leaving the house for work, or you ran out of milk after and remit only remembered after you had poured the cereal. The days with flat tires, first water pipes, leaky faucets, sick cats, and all manner of small to enormous disasters that can really mess up a day. It’s funny though, it’s all in how you look at it.
In the course of our daily lives, day by day, we tried to get as much accomplished as we possibly can, do the best job that we can, and find time for things like meditation or prayer or yoga or walking in the park telling a kite. We can’t be rolled robots, but neither can we be total free spirits in the sense of we have no responsibility and no commitment to anything other than ourselves and what we want to do at any given time. God didn’t create us to do that. God gave us some things to do that we have to work into our daily lives like helping the sick or feeding the hungry, or maybe just visiting or calling someone who’s been sick, or celebrating a birthday, or other commemorative events.
This week will be quieter, no major birthdays, no major celebrations, not even minor celebrations, unless God grants that the Cubs win the pennant. Still, this coming week I need to concentrate on how I’m spending my day. I have to have time to work, time to study, to be social with friends and time to be alone. It’s a challenge to find a band of balance in all of this. But God made the world in balance and now we have unbalanced it. Maybe I can’t stop the wobble of the earth on its axis, but I can learn how to work with the wobble to my own life and make sure that there is time for me to be reminded that God deserves a chunk of my time, and that I’ll it to myself to carve out that chunk of time. Ultimately, that makes for a good or great day.
Linda Ryan is a co-mentor for two Education for Ministry groups, an avid reader, lover of Baroque and Renaissance music, a wannabe writer, and a homebody. She keeps the blog Jericho’s Daughter. She is owned by three cats. She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, North Scottsdale, AZ.
Image: By Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA – Yorktown Victory Monument, Colonial National Historic Site, Yorktown, Virginia, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link