Gratitude Day 266
Tues., May 7, 2019
2 Samuel 22:31 – “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
There’s a line in the movie Miss Congeniality that often is quoted the end of April. The scene goes like this.
Playing the role of Stan Fields, William Shatner is the master of ceremonies for the Miss America contest. He asks a contestant, Cheryl Frasier, played by Heather Burns, “Miss Rhode Island, describe your perfect date.”
Most of us expect to hear her share something like going to the theater with dinner at a special restaurant. Or taking a boat ride as the sun is setting. Dancing until the band quits playing. Instead, Miss Rhode Island misunderstands the question and says, “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25, because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all it requires is a light jacket.” As everyone snickers around her after this answer, Miss Rhode Island realizes she completely misunderstood the question.
Yet, every April 25, we find Cheryl Burn’s answer floating around on social media and spoken aloud. Here, in Wisconsin, as we hope and pray that it is a day requiring only a light jacket and not a winter coat.
In Mitch Albom’s book Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch shares with readers his real-life experiences with his favorite college professor, Morrie Schwartz, as he journeys through the last days of his life. Morrie has ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease and Mitch makes visiting him a priority. Through these weekly “classes,” Mitch has poignant conversations with his former professor.
During his 13th visit, Mitch and Morrie discuss the perfect day. Morrie is trying to make peace with the knowledge that he will ultimately die. In the process, he discovers the really hard thing: making peace with living. He shares how the important questions have to do with love, responsibility, spirituality and awareness and sees these as the ultimate questions that he should have been trying to answer all along.
Morrie can no longer walk nor stand up. Mitch asks Morrie if he had one perfectly healthy 24-hour day, what would Morrie do. Here’s Morrie’s answer:
“Let’s see … I’d get up in the morning, do my exercises, have a lovely breakfast of sweet rolls and tea, go for a swim, then have my friends over for a nice lunch. I’d have them come one or two at a time so we could talk about their families, their issues, talk about how much we mean to each other.
“Then I’d like to go for a walk, in a garden with some trees, watch their colors, watch the birds, take in the nature that I haven’t seen in so long now. In the evening, we’d all go together to a restaurant with some great pasta, maybe some duck – I love duck – and then we’d dance the rest of the night. I’d dance with all the wonderful dance partners out there, until I was exhausted. And then I’d go home and have a deep, wonderful sleep.”
Mitch questions Morrie, “That’s it?”
It was all so simple, so average that Mitch was disappointed. He wondered how Morrie could find perfection in such an average day … and then, he realized this was the whole point.
At various times in our marriage, Hubby Rick and I have discussed our “perfect” day. Naturally, our perfect days look a little different. However, we might have both experienced a near-perfect day last Saturday.
Like every morning, I made coffee as soon as I get up. I clean the fridge while Rick putters around. I notice our neighbor, Sharon, outside and have a chat with her. Sharon’s husband, Larry, is moving through the stages of dementia rather quickly. It has changed his and her lives considerably.
Remembering that lunch is in the oven, I end our conversation rather quickly. Rick and I eat at the island, where we often share a meal together. Then, we go for a walk, something Rick loves for us to do together. Rick had started removing the winter decorations from the front porch. He washes down the porches with a hose while I work in the flower beds. Rick has already sprayed off the wicker furniture and I arrange it and some decorations on the porches, wanting to create a warm and welcoming spot for visitors and us to enjoy all summer long.
Then, we go on our most common date night these days: a trip to Menard’s and Home Depot. Our mission is to pick out things we need to continue the master bath project. It’s after 9:30 PM when we’re done shopping. We find a nearby Culver’s and have a quick dinner while the workers clean the restaurant. On the way home, we listen to the Brewer’s baseball game. They are now in the 15th and 16th innings. Rick watches the 17th inning on TV, while I prepare music for Sunday worship. I’m the one who sees the Brewers load the bases in the 18th inning and watches Ryan Braun make his sixth hit in the game to drive in the winning score.
It was nearly a perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold. Just a light jacket was needed. Doing the things Rick and I enjoy doing together, having discovered the important things are the ones we do together. In our own way, we’ve touched love, responsibility, spirituality and awareness throughout the day. It’s been a near perfect day.
What does your perfect day look like? Given 24-hours to do whatever you want, what would you choose to do?
Why not do this today?
For discovering what makes a day perfect, I am grateful.
Almighty God – when life seems too full and too busy, may we find refuge in You. Place it upon our hearts to discover the perfect ways you come into our lives each and every day. May this be enough for today. Amen.
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