Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Terrible Day

After mass yesterday morning I joined a friend for a Sunday brunch.

As I pulled up to the front of the restaurant a young man strode over to me and asked my name, so he could provide the restaurant’s valet parking service.  I told him, and as I got out of my car he asked: “And how’s your day today?”  And I answered:  “Terrible.”

He looked stunned for a moment, and then responded: “Well, I hope it gets better.”  I stopped and looked at him, and then gave him my simple philosophy:  “I expect today to get better, but things aren’t really bad.  I always view things today relative to tomorrow, and I know tomorrow’s ALWAYS going to be better than today.  Therefore when someone asks me how my day is, relatively speaking, today is terrible ---- compared to tomorrow.”  The young man didn’t seem to miss a beat:  “I got it,” he said with a smile.  And I forgot all about the exchange as I went to meet my friend.

Everyone needs a good friend, and I am blessed to have one.  Our brunch and discussion was most enjoyable, as was the food we ate.  It was a wonderful way to begin Palm Sunday.

As I left the restaurant I reached into my pocket for the valet parking ticket and turned to the 4 waiting young men.  “I’ll get this,” said one, and I remembered that he was the one who had first greeted me upon my arrival.  He fetched my car and parked it in front of me, and then as he and I exchanged places in the driver’s seat, he commented: “I understand your optimism about the future, but I often find myself trying to understand the past, and sometimes that seems difficult.” 

It took me a second to connect his comments with mine of two hours earlier --- he obviously had thought a bit about my words.  “Well, certainly we need to understand the past, to learn its lessons.  That plus a little faith,” I said, pointing to the rosary hanging from my car mirror, “is what enables me to count on a better future.”  He smiled and held out his hand, which I shook.  “Thank you,” he said with a smile,

“Have a better day.”

Some people don’t understand my comments about my day being “terrible,” and some don’t like my explanation.  And some just ignore it as meaningless words.  But, I guess, once in a great while some people think about the things we say and do, even casually, and perhaps it makes their day a little brighter.

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As I was saying my morning prayers this morning I heard someone speak from the podium on the altar: “I just got a text message,” she said.  “Father said he forgot to set his alarm this morning, so we will have a short communion service instead of mass.”  Hmmmm.

When I said that tomorrow was ALWAYS going to be better, I didn’t mean that it would be perfect.     : - )

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