A Perfect Day
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” -- Proverbs 4:18
When someone asks how I’m doing, I often reply, “If I were any better, I’d be you.” It’s not clear to me where I first heard the expression, or when it became a common response. But I do know this. It surprises and delights the recipient, who usually pauses a moment to assess their state.
If you ask me how I’m doing, my response assumes that all is well with my soul regardless of circumstances. If I’m feeling fantastic, a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, then my response also assumes you’re experiencing a perfect 10. The perfection of our days does not depend on the state of the world, but on the providence of God. Therefore, today is always a perfect day.
I still remember the day a half century ago when my mother looked unusually thoughtful after hanging up from a neighborly phone call. “What’s going on Mom?”
“You won’t believe what Marjorie just said to me? I called to ask her about an issue with that church committee, and started by asking her how she’s doing today. She answered me with an incredibly cheerful ‘Fantastic’. When I asked her why she was so fantastic, she said, ‘Might as well be’.”
My Mom happened to know that Marjorie recently received an unwelcome diagnosis of breast cancer, one of her children floundered at college, and they recently suffered a financial set-back. Yet Marjorie remained undaunted. She bore witness to God’s promise to love and sustain us through abundance and scarcity, sickness and health, whether we live or whether we die. Though we humans struggle to keep our commitments, God’s love and care for us never fails.
When we live in conscious, daily trust of God’s unfailing promises, then we can hold lightly to this life with gratitude, and count every day as a precious gift. We may not control the external circumstances of our world, but we choose how we show up. We can either greet each day with dark lament, “Good God, it’s morning!” Or we can wake up with bright, expectant hope: “It’s morning, Good God!”
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day, the only day in front of you. I’m fantastic today. If I were any better, I’d be you. And whatever you’re going through right now, God knows you’re fantastic too. You might as well be.
Prayer: Thank you God, for this perfect day: for guiding me through that hard thing in front of me, for sustaining me when the way grows difficult, for assuring me that all is well. Just for today, I wholly trust you with this fantastic day. Amen
God’s grace, mercy and peace,
Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Senior Minister, Community Church of Vero Beach