How to Have A Bad Day
When a bad day comes along, it can feel like it hasn't been your day... your week... your month... or even your year...
[CLAP, CLAP, CLAP]
But Friend's reference aside, starting your day negatively has a major impact for the rest of the day. For myself, my bad day started the night before. I was so exhausted that I didn't pack for the next day, charge my car keys or Apple Watch. Even with my early sleep, I still woke up late and tired. I scrambled to get ready, which meant I had no time to do any makeup, fix myself lunch-much less breakfast-and I neglected to take my medicine. Did I mention the car keys? I don't know what miracle allowed them to still function! Also, thank heavens for electric shavers! I quickly shaved my lower legs in five minutes. The quality of the shave? Well, at least people can't see the stubble from afar.
Because I started this day behind in what I needed to do, I'll have to spend the rest of the day playing catch up AND getting ready for the next day/rest of the week. It feels like I won't EVER catch up!
And it feels depressing.
Sometimes when I try to juggle my life, I eventually end up dropping all the balls (or responsibilities) I have in the air! What's worse is that some of them are plastic and some are glass. For example, I can get away with postponing cleaning my bathroom sink, but I can't postpone taking my medicine! My urgent responsibilities; work, health, family, personal, spiritual all seem to shatter if I am not on top of them 24/7.
So how can I change this negative, overwhelming, and seemingly ever-increasing avalanche around?
First, start I need to start with my mentality. If I continue to believe that I will NEVER catch up on what I'm behind in, would that motivate me to do my tasks? It is understandable to feel frustrated but throwing in the towel, so to speak, is not an option. God doesn't want us to have a defeated life, but to live life in abundance (John 10:10). This means a life of purpose and peace.
This also doesn't mean we have to give our 100% all the time. When a player twists their ankle, they don't keep playing! No, instead they slowly recover with time and physical therapy. Sometimes, a gentle nudge or a small step in the right direction is what's needed. A sour attitude is not.
Secondly, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish which items are truly a priority and which ones to leave on the back burner. When a to-do list is longer than a car's manual, it is difficult to know where to start! What has been helpful for me is to first write out everything that needs to get done without diving into the logistic. Then, I present that list to a colleague. Sometimes we have to borrow a fresh set of eyes to gain a better perspective. Once the list is updated, I can make reminders such as writing them down on a sticky-note or create alarms for them to keep me on track. Talking about my plans for action with the colleague not only establishes my plan but also motivates me to fulfill it. At this stage, I can also negotiate with myself. If I can't finish a task, perhaps I can get some mini-tasks done.
We ought to remember that our priorities change. Some balls (responsibilities) will always be glass, others change from glass to plastic or from plastic to glass.
Thirdly, and most importantly, we need to lean on God's understanding and power. Our human tendency is to depend on ourselves. How do I know this? It is because we love the underdogs. We celebrate when someone overcomes barriers to succeed and we ourselves want to recieve the same glory. However, that glory is not everlasting, is difficult to maintain, and it isn't even a worthwhile goal! How many celebrities crash after fame? If we chase after the wrong things and/or lean on our own power, we take God out of the picture (or try to). His plan and greater purpose for us should never be in our hands, but in his.
But what about when our "bad days" are life changing? How do we cope on the days we found out we didn't get into our dream college? That a love one has passed? That a young child has developed cancer?
I researched about God's authority and came across this article by GotQuestions.Org titled, Where was God on September 11th? Can you image a worse bad day than a terrorist attack? If time could stop, it would've been then when the second tower fell and the city was in ashes. Why does He allow this?
Quoting Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” We cannot always see or understand God's ultimate plan, but He assures us that “... all things work together for good to those who love God..." (Romans 8:28). We can rest in His word because of what He has done for us/humankind. God did not have to create a covenant with the tribes of Israel, knowing that they would betray Him, but He did. God did not have to send His son to die for us while we were still sinners, but He did. God doesn't have to allow the world to continue in darkness, but gives us all a chance to choose Him.
The article also goes to mention that there was good that happened after the 9/11 attack.
The passengers on Flight 93 defeating the terrorists was a miracle in and of itself. Yes, September 11 was a terrible day. Sin reared its ugly head and caused great devastation. However, God is still in control. His sovereignty is never to be doubted.
Even when the world is falling apart, God, creator of all things, is still in authority of it all. So when our world falls apart, we need to bring our self-defeating thoughts and self-sufficient tendencies under God's all powerful and better authority. Similar to driving, we keep focus on the road ahead. If you feel yourself driving off course, get distracted, or feel like you can't keep going, ask Jesus to come and take the wheel.
If you need someone to pray over you, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org You don't have to go into the specifics if you don't want to. God knows what you need before you even conceptualize it! I am simply off myself as an aid in that process.
Wishing all my readers well,
Father God, thank you for your love and support today. On days when my world is shaken, you never lost your grip on me. Help me to remember that this life is temporary and was meant to bring glory to you. Take the reigns from my hands. Help me submit myself to you. I pray for my brothers and sisters who are also struggling right now and ask for their renewed minds and strength. Help us walk the straight and narrow road ahead.
In Jesus's name I pray, amen.