“Have a good day!” has become for most of us a banal and meaningless expression. It can at times be annoying, even infuriating.
And yet, what if we really did “have a good day” today? What would that look like? Wouldn’t it be good to have one?
However you define “good,” a good day will be made of good moments. A good year, indeed a good life, will be made up of a succession of good days. There is no other way to have a good life, except by amassing a long string of good days. If that is so, is there anything more important than “having a good day” today?
Where should we focus our attention? What kind of goals should we set? What kind of visions or fantasies should we cultivate?
We are encouraged to dream big. But I’m pretty sure there is nothing more counterproductive, and even dangerous, than grand goals that take our eyes off today. A big dream can give energy, but if it is not broken into day-size pieces with day-size accountability, nothing bigger than today will never be realized.
Christian author Jamie Buckingham said: “Attempt something so big, that unless God intervenes, it’s bound to fail.” Fine. But remember that big thing will happen–or not–one day at a time.
Is there anything “bigger” than a life of sobriety and healthy relationships to an alcoholic? Anything more dependent on God’s intervening grace and power? And how does sobriety happen? One day at a time.
It’s not impressive to talk about, but I wonder if there is anything “bigger” or more dependent on God’s intervention than a truly good, faithful, victorious day. If that doesn’t seem big enough or miraculous enough, just reflect on how few of them you have managed to have in the last year through your own efforts and good intentions.
Do you ever comfort yourself in the face of a “small” failure or a “bad” day by re-visiting and savoring that fantasy of the grand future–that will start tomorrow.
That’s not to denigrate the value of fresh starts. God’s mercies are “new every morning,” as the Good Book says. But those mercies are for that new day, not for the day after.
The miraculous intervening grace of God is meted out to us in daily doses. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Right after Jesus told us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God” — How’s that for a grand dream?! — He said: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Combining those two thoughts you get: “Seek first the Kingdom today.”
That sort of takes all the fun out of it. I was hoping for something a little grander than “today.” “I mean, how much can I get done for the Kingdom today?”
One of the most annoying things about today is that it is so dang concrete! So real. So tangible. So resistant to fantasy. But it is also powerful and wields enormous influence far beyond its size.
Victory through today’s trouble will increase the odds of a better tomorrow, far more than dreaming, planning, and worrying about tomorrow, or next week, or my retirement, today.
I love the little plaque often seen in Pubs: “Free beer tomorrow.” That’s where most free things will always be.
While you can catch a “manager’s special” from time to time, most of the stuff we need today will be going at the regular price. But usually the price is quite affordable. Somehow there seems to always be enough for today’s “expenses.” Especially if we used yesterday’s allowance wisely.