As a bank teller, I am constantly asking customers how their day is going. Of course, ninety-nine percent say “I’m good”, I’m doin’ fine”, or something similar. Social norms put us on auto-pilot and keep everything clean and shiny.
For years, I’ve tried to avoid the plastic smile in favor of authenticity. Fake might be pretty, but it keeps us insulated from real friendships. Who relates to Barbie anyway?
So early on, I swung to the other extreme. (Hint: extremes are usually bad.) It made for some pretty awkward conversations with perfect strangers.
I like to think I’ve learned from my mistakes, that I know when to bare all and when to be polite, but I still have slip-ups.
But lately, I’ve been convicted that my desire to be authentic and “real” sometimes drives me to cross a fine line into simple griping. Or (gulp!) even gossip.
Which brings me back to my first question: What are the qualifications for a “good” day–one that I don’t gripe or complain about?
Must the day be nearly perfect to be a “good” one?
Maybe my standards have been too high. Maybe a good day shouldn’t have to be so perfect, measuring up to the “good” days of last year, or even last week.
A sweet young mommy-friend of mine has come to a similar conclusion. These days, exhaustion is the norm in her world. So are spit-up stains and tantrums and diapers and all the other normals that mommies of toddlers and infants endure. Three years ago, before kids, the lack of sleep alone might have translated into a no-good-very-bad-day.
So, she has wisely adjusted her standards. A “good” day is a day when her children are loved. It is a day when there was sleep before, no matter how little. It is any day when her heart is focused on thankfulness, on loving, on Jesus.
Good is a choice.
I will still share the hard things with friends. I will still show the reality of my life because shared comfort brings closeness.
But because Jesus is good, and He is with me, I choose to believe that today is good.