Best Day Ever!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness! -Lamentations 3:22-23

My daughter, Junia, is four. Lately, she has a favorite phrase: “Best Day Ever!” Once, she declared eight days in a row “Best Day Ever!” She has exclaimed this phrase on days that included ice cream cones and zoo visits, on days that included ten hours in the car, and on days that held nothing particularly memorable at all. Every day, it would seem, is a candidate for “Best Day Ever!”

It’s an attitude that I envy. There is so much that can ruin a day. There are the so-called “first world problems:” running out of coffee, forgetting your lunch, all the good parking spots being taken, or your favorite show getting taken off Netflix. There are bigger problems: conflict at work or home, unexpected bills, or depression. There are problems so big we stare at them without any idea what to do next: wildfires and droughts pressing the question of climate change, the news coming out of Afghanistan, or a pandemic that is resurging right as we thought we were past the worst of it.

It would be easiest to say that it’s just because she doesn’t watch the news, or pay bills, or worry that makes a four-year-old so able to declare any or every day “Best Day Ever!” What does she really know about it, anyway? Her troubles are small and easily resolved by the adults around her. Why shouldn’t she be joyful? 

Attributing an attitude of joy to a life free of trouble, however, creates an even stickier problem. Our lives will never be free from trouble, sorrow, and stress. Life always includes pain, and anyone who says otherwise is inevitably selling something.

However, our faith tells us that life is not only pain, trouble, and problems. It’s not even primarily those things, though it might feel that way sometimes. Instead, our faith declares that each morning brings God’s love and mercy, fresh for the day ahead. Every sunrise, even one covered by clouds, is a sign of God’s faithfulness. Joy isn’t a matter of circumstance, but perspective. 

With the right perspective, we begin to realize that with God, the Best Day Ever is every day. Any day that God is faithful, keeping God’s promises to love and care for us, is a Best Day Ever. Any day that God’s steadfast love comes to us is a Best Day Ever. Any day that God’s mercies don’t cease is a Best Day Ever.

God, thank you for your mercy, your steadfast love, and your great faithfulness. Give me the perspective to see these gifts each day. Amen.