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That One Day…


Bonnie and I were sitting on the porch the other day and she was rubbing her shoulder, complaining how it was bothering her again. Years ago we were playing tennis and she had tripped moving into a backhand shot, falling on her arm and damaging the nerve in her shoulder. It never really healed properly.

“That one day!” she remarked. “That one day caused me all this discomfort over the years.”

It struck me as a poignant thought. How many of us can remember “that one day?” Heck, how many of us can remember experiencing “that one day” several times in our lives?

Call it timing, carelessness, foolishness, the capriciousness of good and bad luck. Whatever it is, it happens to us all and almost all of us have “that one day” we remember ruefully or joyfully.

It doesn’t have to be a bad situation – on the contrary, it can be a wonderful happening.  Author Beverly Donofrio once said, “All life is, is three or four big days that change everything.” There is hardly a person reading this article who doesn’t intrinsically understand that. Most of us can still see clearly the moments in our life that were pivotal points.

The important thing here is that most of the time you can’t prepare for these occasions. Only two things matter – how you handle the situation at the moment, and how you handle it from then on. You can’t control the fact that bad things are occasionally going to happen to you, but you can control at least in part, how they affect you.

When we are gifted with good things, the important aspect is to remember grace and thanks. Never forget that you are blessed with good things just as you are challenged with difficult situations. And sometimes, The Man upstairs “gifts us” with a challenge because we need it in order to grow. Admittedly when you’re faced with “that one day,” you can’t turn back the clock, you can’t go back, but you can start from that moment forward and create a new ending to the story that is you. I love the expression by C.S. Lewis: “Getting over a painful experience is a lot like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point to move forward.” 

The truth is, it seems strangely unfair that we have a tendency to remember the difficult days more easily than the good, but when you come right down to it, it’s still our choice, isn’t it? Life is nothing more than a learning process, and each of us can only hope, when we come to the final exam, we arrive prepared.

I’ll leave you with a quote by one of my favorite writers, Richard Bach – “Here is the test to determine if your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.”