The other day, I stopped for gas and went inside to grab a diet coke and pay. As I was waiting in line to check out, I noticed that the cashier concluded each transaction by saying “Have the best day of your life.” This caught my attention. Each person in front of me received these parting words. When my turn came and my business was concluded, I waited for the encouraging refrain, but got none. I lingered for a moment and made a little small talk to give him another chance to wish me the best day of my life, but it did not come.
I felt a little bummed that I didn’t get the parting words of inspiration that I had longed for, but it did send me down the road with a lot to think about. First, I thought about the essence of the wish. Most of the time, we perceive our day as good or bad based on what happens to us. In that case, I don’t have much of a say as to whether my day is going to be the best ever. But, if someone encourages me to have the best day of my life, the assumption is that I can do something about it. I have a choice to make. What am I going to make out of this day that God has given me?
As I drove home, I began to think about the best days of my life. What were they and more importantly, what made them the best days of my life? Since I am married and have a wonderful wife and children, I am taking my wedding day and the birth of my children off the table. I want to sleep in my bed tonight. Those days were the best, but beyond those events, what makes the list? A few popped into my mind immediately:
- All the days camping with my family along the shores of the Great Lakes of Michigan.
- The day that I caught a mess of whitefish with my brother-in-law, Jason and friend, Kendon off the pier in Grand Marais during a ferocious Lake Superior storm.
- The day my son, Zach, and I hiked a brutal and beautiful stretch of the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore under very adverse conditions.
- All the days that I’ve been able to be a part of lives changing through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
My next consideration was why these days stand out in my memory. I see three important elements that can make one of my days a great day.
- It’s a day that is shared with people I love.
- It’s a day with adventure.
- It’s a day that has significance.
I want more days that are filled with those things. St. Irenaeus said “The glory of God is man fully alive.” You see, God is most glorified when his creation is fully embracing the life that he gave them. Jesus is a life giver. This means eternal life for sure, but it also means living like one who is fully alive today. We have to choose eternal life. We also have to choose to live today. It might be a good spiritual exercise to ask yourself what things make you come alive and choose more days that are full of those things. Don’t wait for the best day of your life to come. Choose it.