Imagine yourself getting in your car to drive to lunch and meet a friend. As you are climbing in you think to yourself, “I’m having a bad day.”
Maybe your AC broke and it is 88 degrees in the house. Or, maybe the boss rejected a major project you wanted. Or, maybe the dog threw up on the carpet. Or, maybe your son called from school and he was in trouble. Or, maybe you failed a big physics test. Or, maybe you heard a raccoon in the attic. Or, maybe you smashed your finger in the car door. Or, maybe three of these things happened. “I’m having a bad day.”
We have our “bad days” when things are going wrong. Sometimes they are annoying things like the car won’t start and sometimes they are massive things like your sister was in a horrible car wreck.
I find myself inordinately annoyed with the annoying things. I give too much energy to the pull-start cord breaking on my mower. It is a 1 on the annoyance scale and I make it a 7. I pour emotional energy out on the ground—emotional energy that I cannot afford to waste.
The annoying happening, broken mower rope or something else, is clearly hooking in to some inner anger or anxiety or pet peeve or lack of emotional energy or spiritual immaturity or several of these combined.
I also find myself inordinately frightened with the massive things. The horrible event like a sister clinging on to dear life is bad enough. Then I respond to that reality with anxiety, fear, and anger and the horrible situation is made worse. I have a gift for worst case scenarios. Something bad can happen and I can take that event and move on to even worse things. I can take almost any severe event and “worst case scenario” it. It almost always ends with me living under a bridge without family or friends and being terribly sick.
Sometimes I have a bad day because I take a little annoyance and make it into what my mother used to call a “Federal Case.” (As in, “David it is nothing. Don’t make a federal case out of it.”)
Sometimes I have a bad day because I take a horrible event and make it worse and worse and worse until the entire universe is made of despair—both for time and eternity.
Conclusion #1 is a conclusion that you and I have heard 907 times but permit me to remind us of it once more. Our response to an annoyance or a horrible event is a major part of exacerbating the problem or of addressing the problem. Responses make situations better or worse. My choice! Your choice!
Conclusion #2 may be less well rehearsed in the Christian faith. The only totally bad day that I can think of is this: “Depart from Me for I never knew you.”
“How’s your day going so far?”