You go to the doctor with a strange, gnawing pain in your abdomen. They run a battery of tests and tell you that "everything is normal." Good news, right? Except that you're still in pain. If it weren't for the pain, you'd be having a perfect day.
You drive to the Christian school to pick up your tribe of students. One of them is being escorted to the van by his teacher. "There's a note for you in his backpack," the teacher says with a tense look on her face. Up until that backpack with the naughty-note, you were having a perfect day.
You're anticipating a wonderful vacation, but the sky outside looks ominously gray. When you wake up in the morning, everything outside is buried under three feet of snow. The airport is closed, not to mention many of the major roads. Not a great way to start what was supposed to be a perfect day.
What is the definition of a "perfect day"? Is it a day free from trouble? There is no such day, so let's try writing a definition that is more realistic:
A PERFECTLY IMPERFECT DAY: A day of contentment, regardless of situations or circumstances.
Here are some "contentment quotes" to reinforce our need for this important character quality:
- “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."--Martha Washington
- “You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”--Charles H. Spurgeon
- “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."--Jeremiah Burroughs
It is true that character, temperament and personality all have a profound effect on how we view life and how we react to our constantly-changing conditions and situations. It is also true that we will never have enough if we are constantly chasing "just one more thing." And we'll never find contentment in this life if we won't trust God to guide and direct us.
We never know from one moment to the next what God has in store for us, but we do know that He cares. Instead of seeing unplanned events as an enemy invasion, we could choose to view it as an insert from our heavenly Father, and we could aim to demonstrate an excellent spirit. If it's not okay with us for God to alter the course of our day, we're on the throne of self-direction. "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Phil. 4:11) If the Apostle Paul could master contentment, we can do it, too. There are no perfect days on this side of heaven. Nice days, but not perfect.
So are you having a perfectly imperfect day? Me, too. And it is well with my soul. How about yours?
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." (I Tim. 6:6-8)