Is there really such a thing as a “bad day?” Can a theoretical construct of time actually be good or bad? Bear with me on this, because I’m not nitpicking. I’m really thinking about how many times I might have thrown a day away or devalued it by erroneously deciding it’s good or bad. Honestly, even when I say my day was good, it’s typically just and off-the-cuff response to a question.
The more I think about this, I’m landing firmly on there being no such thing as a bad day. My experience of good or bad is really connected to my feelings which are connected to my perceptions of the things I experience, not necessarily the experiences I have. I can actually choose my narrative about the things I encounter and deal with.
The other morning my son and I hopped into our 1995 Jeep and he drove us to school. By the time I dropped him off and got behind the wheel, the clunking sound somewhere in the engine was undeniable. I was faced with a decision, and how I thought it through and acted on it would determine if it a negative or positive situation. It would set the tone for my experience, whether for an hour or the rest of the day.
I drove to the mechanic, waited for him to arrive, turned over the keys, got a ride to my other vehicle, bought them all donuts to thank them, and still got to work by 8:40am. It was great! I had a solution, people willing to help, the money to pay for any repairs, and was on time for my first appointment. I thanked God that he had the foresight to make sure my calendar was clear until 9am that morning (it’s usually not), and buzzed through the rest of my day.
So, I experienced that as a “good day,” but it really was that I chose a positive narrative in my mind about the events. I could have chosen differently. I could have gotten stressed, anxious about being late, angry about having to spend more money, even imagined whose fault it was.
The power of this decision about my narrative is that it will essentially “taint” the rest of my day. It’s like a runaway train once it gets started. So positive or negative, I will likely continue to interpret things in that framework for a significant period of time after, whether it be a morning, a day, a week, my year, or, heck, my whole life. I know people who believe they just have bad luck compared to other people. But the truth is, we all have similar life experiences. Nobody is immune to pain and loss, stress, or challenges. And nobody is out there is having that mythical perfect life we all fantasize about.
The difference between a positive or negative experience of our life is in our thinking, our beliefs, every single time. There is no “bad day.” There are people who struggle well and people who just struggle. I want to struggle well. I want to take my thoughts captive and let truth direct and shape my narrative. I worship a God who is ahead of me in every challenge I will face, waiting with solutions, comfort and love. I don’t need to worry about my days, labeling them, or about my future.
I don’t have bad days or good days. I have a good God.
The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.