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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, July 7, 2014

I Had a Bad Day

(Ecclesiastes 7:14 MSG) On a good day, enjoy yourself; on a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted.

The “Message” gives quite a challenge on how one should respond to their day. I am not sure that I have actually thought about how I have responded to a day one way or the other. I obviously “enjoy” a good day, but I am not sure that I “examine my conscience” on “a bad day” as the “Message” suggests.

Since reading this passage and meditating on it for a while I think I have learned some things. I have come to the conclusion that this scripture is really a lesson on maturity. The immature know how to “enjoy” a good day, but it takes a mature person to grow when having a “bad day.”

The fact is, good days and bad days are a part of life, but neither of them are the point of this scripture. The point of this scripture is not how we enjoy having a “good day” (everyone knows how to do that), but how we learn from having a “bad day.”

I have also come to the conclusion that how one values their day varies from person to person. For example, to one person a good day means finding a good parking place at the mall. To another person having a good day means having a meal once a day or a bed to sleep in. Perhaps everything is relevant.

My wife told me that she met with a friend of hers one day and the friend said to her, “This has been the worst day of my life. I had my hair frosted and it was so bad that I had to go back and reverse the frosting.” Karen’s response was, “I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that.”

While Karen was supporting and encouraging her friend who had the bad “frosting” job…Karen had just lost her mother and her little sister was dying with cancer.

There seems to be two different kinds of pain going on in the story with Karen and her friend. There is the pain associated with pride which is a bad frosting job. Then there is the pain associated with a broken heart…the loss of Karen’s mother and a little sister dying with cancer.

I have also come to the conclusion that there is a bit of childishness in everyone when it comes to disappointment. It appears that a person who seems to show maturity in one area could actually be immature in another area. If that is the case then perhaps our text is not showing how the mature and the immature act relative to my original thought. Maybe it is showing us both sides of the same person…the natural side and the spiritual side. Perhaps as we grow spiritually that side will one day be more dominate than the natural side.

Father,
Thank You for showing us the revelation of the two sides of humanity. Lord, help us to be as patient with those who only know how to respond to the words in our text… “On a good day, enjoy yourself.” I also pray that others will be patience with us as we mature while learning how to respond to the words in our text… “On a bad day, examine your conscience.”

Amen

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