What if we treated our good days more like our bad days?
They happen every so often. If you're lucky, maybe they happen regularly. It's the first day of vacation, an unexpected check arrives in the mail, the baby slept through the night and your hair turned out just right. Before you know it? You're having a good day.
Good days are the ones we post on Instagram, remember with affection, and long for when they slip into the past. If we live by the motto "Any day upright is a good day", then with any luck, we have quite a few good days ahead of us.
But there is often a dark underbelly to days when everything unfolds in surprising and fulfilling ways. With every great parking space, dream vacation, whole-hearted belly laugh and kind word heard, a menacing figure lurks in the shadows. It's the tiny little thought that lodges itself in our brain and whispers, enjoy this, because it won't last.
If this thought pattern is completely foreign to you and you have no idea of what I am yammering on about, you are welcome to completely disregard this blog. If you embrace your good days without hesitation and they are never undermined by gnawing thoughts of dread, I want to be like you when I grow up. I want to learn your ways. Teach me, oh Yoda-of-good-day-acceptance.
For some of us, a bad day will try to convince us it's been around for a while now and even worse yet, it's here to stay. It makes us acutely present to our circumstances mostly because we cannot see past them. Bad days demand full immersion; a payment-in-full of attention, emotion, and perspective.
When I'm having a bad day, I move slowly and whisper to myself, it will be okay, it will be okay like a mantra; a talisman to ward off impending doom.
On the other hand, when I'm having a good day, I don't let it get a big head and swagger around. Instead, I find 72 ways to take it down a few notches. Sure, a mantra plays in my head, but it's two paragraphs long and includes thoughts of:
The stuff that hasn't been done.
The stuff that has been done.
The stuff that needs to get done.
The stuff I should be thinking of, but can't remember.
A good day can produce the niggling suspicion that it's only a good day because we've forgotten a vital piece of information that will jolt us back into a measured, ho-hum reality.
So what if we approached our good days more like we experience our bad days?
What if we immersed ourselves completely and unabashedly into our lovely, wonderful, fantastic, beautiful good days? What if we didn't see another way to live? What if, in our "good dayness" we don't see past our present circumstances and we just stay where we are and look around a while and not think about anything else than having a good day? And what if, instead of thinking, "enjoy this, it won't last" we simply enjoy; because in that moment, in the midst of our good day, there is nothing else that needs to be done.
The good news of Jesus Christ is that the good has already defeated the bad; that through His death and resurrection, He has overcome sin, despair, hopelessness and dread. Your best worries won't keep you from having bad days, and your worst ones can't keep you from God's love. In this world, we will have our share of trouble. Sometimes, it feels like more than our share. But at the end of the day, whether it's a good one or not, He has overcome the world.
So let's stay laser-focused when the good days roll around, and take our bad days down a few notches. Let's look past our difficult circumstances and know with absolute certainty that they will not last. They are the things that are most temporary--if not in this world, then in the next. The good, on the other hand, will one day last forever.
May your good days be filled with richness and beauty and may you enjoy them with gusto--staying present and not looking for the worries beyond them. May the bad days that come be filled with peace in knowing that they will not last, and in the end, it will be (and already is) truly okay.
Have a good day.
Melissa Maimone is a Christian speaker and author of the book "Gathering Dandelions: Meditations and Musings on Faith, Fracture, and Beauty Mistaken for a Weed". She resides in Southern California with her husband and children. To subscribe to Melissa's monthly Sparrow Sisters Journal, click HERE.