Enjoy Your Day

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I went to Washington! Steve and I spent four days visiting the monuments and museums of our nation’s capital. Travel often means discovery for me. Here are two lessons I learned, or rather re-learned, during the course of this adventure.

Don’t kid yourself. You are not in charge. When I’m traveling, I am more keenly aware of my lack of control. Perhaps it’s the unfamiliar surroundings or the need to try things I simply haven’t mastered (like Uber and the Metro). At any rate, I often find myself relying on God in a different “I can’t do this on my own” sort of way as I prepare for a trip and head out the door. The uncertainties of travel sharpen my eye for the interventions and blessings that keep me on the right track. Little things—check out last month’s blog about shoes—and big things like safety and health. Now back in Houston, I’m hoping to maintain the same level of faith and reliance on our Lord, the same awareness of his blessing, as I jump back into everyday life.

Lesson Two: “Have a nice day?” The people of Washington are inordinately friendly, in my opinion. (Okay, I didn’t meet any politicians, but hopefully I could say the same for them.) Almost all of them end their greeting with “Have a nice day” or “Enjoy your day.” I used to say the first, but intend to try switching to the second. Here’s why. “Have a nice day” seems to indicate that all should be well. We know that, on far too many days, all will not, at least to our way of thinking, be well. We will forget the important, stumble into the inconvenient, experience pain and disappointment, or hear bad news. Some days simply will not be nice.

On the other hand, “Enjoy your day” says to me, “Look for the best. Keep an eye out for the blessing,” or, to quote the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “Remember that ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.’” (Look here  to read more of that catechism or to check out the scriptural support for its statements.) “Enjoy your day” means there is reason to rejoice even when the day isn’t nice. I’ve gone back to the real world now. I’m not on vacation anymore. The odds are high that, at some point, perhaps several points in the coming week, my day will not be nice. I hope to be able to rejoice and glorify and enjoy nonetheless. And when I greet friends, I will try to remember to say, “Enjoy your day!”


Dad’s Mistake

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Last night my dad made a big mistake. Awakened in the wee hours, he reached for the eye drops that are always on his nightstand and flooded his eyes to relieve the uncomfortable dryness that often plagues him. But it wasn’t saline that flowed from that bottle. He had snatched up a bottle of iodine instead.

Imagine the pain! Imagine the panic. He rushed to the sink, splashing water into his eyes and sprinkling diluted iodine all over the carpet. He called for my mom, who called 911 and thanked God that what she saw on the floor was iodine and not blood.

The ambulance came. The hospital did its thing, they were home four hours later, and my dad is going to be okay. He’ll be in pain for a while. He will need a few extra trips to the ophthalmologist. They’ll have to buy new carpet.

Here is what I want to share with you, though—an excerpt from this afternoon’s email, written by my surely-exhausted-from-the-ordeal dad to me, his out-of-town-at-the-time daughter:

“Aren’t we all glad I was not riding in that ambulance to get treatment for a heart attack or something serious?  That thought makes this episode seem almost incidental.”  Almost incidental?

Here’s what the Apostle Paul had to say about moments like this, a verse we ought to read every day:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Dad lives this passage from Philippians. I know he and Mom started praying the moment the crisis began. Before long, his anxiety had turned to trust. And now, even as the pain continues, he is able to rejoice. That’s my dad. I want to be like him, don’t you?