Recently a friend sent me some information from a self-help course called “The Perfect Day,” or something like that. My response was pleasant (which can sometimes be amazing). I told him that looked “interesting” and then shook my head and rolled my eyes. (I could do that because we were texting.)
I thought to my self, “Self, if I was planning the perfect day, it certainly wouldn’t included reading a self-help book and filling out some questionnaires.” To me, that sounds like the worst day ever.
But I did start thinking about what would be my perfect day. It then struck me that most of my days are “perfect.” It’s not that everything goes perfectly, that’s not ever the case. It’s that I’m not really searching or looking for anything else. I have a great wife and we love to spend time together. The kids are healthy and generally do pretty well at school. I’m employed and I enjoy working. And there’s a Starbucks right around the corner. There’s not a lot that I don’t have. There’s not a lot that I’m seeking after.
But there are days that aren’t perfect. These are the days when the doors of Hades appear to fling open and all sorts of crazy stuff flies at us. Something breaks. Somebody doesn’t act right. Somebody sends a bill we weren’t expecting. All of those are interpreted as “somebody is attacking me.” And because of that, I lose all perspective.
The reality is that we don’t learn or grow much during the “perfect” days. We go along easy, filling up at Starbucks and eating sushi for lunch. Times are good. We are good. We are lulled into the perspective that we are owed this good life. After all, haven’t we worked hard and done the right things more times than not? But with this perspective, I’m knocked for a loop when things go wrong.
The reality is that each day – whether good or bad, we need Jesus Christ. We need to remind ourselves of His gospel every day. We are sinners – in good days and bad – and we need a Savior – in good days and bad – and we have that Savior in Christ – in good days and bad. If we come to Him – in good days and bad – and confess our sins – in good days and bad – He is faithful and just to forgive our sins – in good days and bad. When we are “good,” the gospel reminds us of who we really are and humbles us. When we are “bad,” the gospel reminds us that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
The search for peace and the perfect day is a vain one apart from Jesus Christ. Without Christ, there is no peace – either temporarily or eternally, because we are not at peace with God. If we have peace with God, it should (and can) change our perspective about what happens to us. And if we keep the right perspective, we can manage our expectations and our reactions.
It’s early in the morning as I write this. As I get up from here, I’m sure the gates will fly open once again. Lord, let me remember Your gospel this day. Let me focus on the Perfect One and keep my perspective on that versus a vain search for a perfect day.