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by Gari Meacham, wife of former MLB player & current Blue Jays MiLB coach Bobby Meacham
When my kids were in their tween years we fell into a communication trap that went something like this:
“How was your day?” Long pause…“Fine.”
“What happened during the nine hours I didn’t see you?” Long pause…“Nothing.”
I read somewhere about a mom who tried to pull conversation out of her kids by using a strategy called “Highs and Lows.” The premise is simple. You gather your brood together (a meal, car ride, bed time) and ask, “What were your highs and lows today?” In our family you had to state at least one of each. For some reason, framing a day into highs and lows gave us the chance to think about what makes a good day.
I’m a fervent fan of noticing the highs—the small and big moments that make a good day. So often we get stuck in the lows—the frustration and disappointment of striving to get somewhere we’re not even sure exists.
Last night I had the wives and girlfriends of our baseball team in New Hampshire over for a Bible study. We’re all living in a new city experiencing the chaos of life in pro-ball—so the chance to gather around some good food and good truth is savored.
I bought a brightly colored polka-dot serving tray at Target, and laid out fresh mozzarella and tomato Panini’s; smoked turkey on Focaccia cheese bread; and salads with blueberries, strawberries, and grilled chicken. One of the wives brought chocolate brownies so good the minute they hit our tongues they dissolved. We filled our plates and then sat down to talk about moments.
I shared that God is a lover of moments; and He uses moments—both good and bad, to shape us. This brought us to a question that I have sat on; pounced on; and shook for meaning.
What is a good day in God’s eyes? Does He see our highs and lows as we do? How does He define a successful day?
When you’re married to a ballplayer a good day is defined by getting hits at the plate, pitching with high velocity, and striking batters out. It’s all about numbers—and the box score dictates how well you performed. I shook things up by saying “What if the box score is wrong? What if in God’s eyes you go 3 for 4 at the plate but were horrible to your teammates, and disrespectful to your coach? Is that a good day? What if you went 0 for 3 at the plate and stunk in the field, but encouraged your teammates; played hard to the end; and selflessly helped someone else even though you felt humiliated or tired…to God—which is a better day?”
It’s exhilarating to realize that God has His own criteria for the highs and lows of our days. What we deem as moments of failure, embarrassment, or disappointment are often the moments He loves best.
This morning my daughter explained how a Bible study gathering she’s offering in her living room this summer had a different outcome than she’d hoped. Many of those who said they could come had to cancel; the conversation didn’t flow liked she’d hoped; and she had to shell out $60 for childcare so she could host the gathering. I could hear the frustration in her voice, and the sense that somehow she had missed God’s call on this. I simply said “To God… that was a good day.”
She offered herself—her time, her love, her hope for the glory of God to be built in others.
The outcome doesn’t determine success—the offering does. We live in a world that determines success by numbers, money, fame and labels. God has different criteria.
This morning I received a stunning message from one of the girlfriends that gathered in my living room last night. She shared that after explaining to her boyfriend what we talked about in study, he completely reframed his day at the ballpark. He’s on the injured list, and instead of moping and feeling bad about his circumstance—he helped new ballplayers on the team learn how to chart pitches, and even played with the special needs group of kids in the stands seated next to him. To God—that was a good day.
Perhaps we need to play a little high and low with ourselves. Stopping to note the highs of our days, and redefining what we perceive as lows. When we value our days in this way, twenty-four hours isn’t enough to contain the pleasure of living. The delight in hearing God say, “Today, you lived a good day…”
Gari Meacham is a beloved author and speaker. Her highly acclaimed books “Truly Fed”, “Spirit Hunger” and “Watershed Moments” invite people to truly engage God. Learn more about her at GariMeacham.com.