In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. (Philippians 4:14)
Having a bad day? Don’t get down about it, we all have them now and then. You cannot always control when you are going to get hit with a bad day. What you can control is how you respond. Tim Denning, in his article “It’s What You Do on a ‘Bad Day’ That Matters,” reminds us, “Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement.” We can try to get through the day by numbing it with alcohol, or trying to ignore it through laziness.
The challenge comes from taking a moment to evaluate the negative that is making your day “bad.” Then, recognizing the need to address the negative, you can take action. Some self-help gurus would have you try to fool yourself into thinking that your bad day is actually good. Some days are truly bad. Rather than playing pretend, we face the bad with positive action.
My brother and his wife lived in Grand Forks, N.D., on the day the Red River overflowed and destroyed the town. They were both stationed at the local Air Force base at the time, and they were making and stacking sandbags in another part of town, as their home was completely submerged in water. The loss and stress of such a horrific situation caused any number of couples to divorce. I was so impressed with their ability to overcome and live beyond the stress of the moment. Knowing they were helping others provided strength, amidst a really “bad day.”
The next time you are facing a really bad day, don’t just live with it, or pretend it isn’t all that bad. Name it, face it, and then do something for others, because, when you make someone else’s day better, yours improves. You cannot control when a flood comes, or when the furnace breaks, but you can make someone else’s day better. In doing so, the bad in your day diminishes. Even on Jesus’ worst bad day on the cross, he was able to transform it by bringing reconciliation to all humanity. As we care for others, even on our bad days, we can find ways of bringing joy that can bring hope, amidst our otherwise bad day. It won’t take the bad away, but it shows that the bad cannot control our attitude, or our ability to bring a little joy to others. When that happens, the bad isn’t quite so bad, and the person you help finds their day isn’t quite so bad either.