Thursday, January 17, 2013

Can It Get Any Better?

Did you ever have one of those days when you thought, “It can’t get any better than this?” Physically you’re feeling excellent – not aches, pains or twinges. You’re upbeat, optimistic about what the new day has to offer. No financial worries for the moment, the car’s running good, relationships are free of conflict, you have plans to look forward to, and life in general seems cast in a rosy glow.

It can’t get any better than that, can it?

I had a morning like that last week. Woke up feeling good, took a shower, mentally ran through my to-do list. Couldn’t wait to get on with the day. And then…I twisted my back the wrong way. Ouch, and double ouch! Everything was downhill from there. Every time I rose from sitting, I felt an agonizing tweak in my lower back. No leaping tall buildings in single bounds for me that afternoon.

In a single moment, “can’t get any better” turned into not-so-good.

Living in the valleys helps us appreciate
moments on the mountaintops.
Sometimes I’m hesitant to enjoy care-free moments because Murphy’s Law could be lurking around the corner. If something can go wrong, often it will. So I’ve learned to temper mountaintop enthusiasm with a realization the valley lies below. But there’s great value in both the highs and lows of everyday life.

The high moments remind of how good life can be, even the simple joys of breathing, the first glimpse of sunlight, enjoying being with loved ones, having something worthwhile and fulfilling to do. The low moments give good times a context, helping us appreciate them since we know they can pass so quickly.

And there’s one other thing: The good times give us a hint, a small taste of even better times ahead, while the not-so-good times remind us not to cling to this life too tightly. God wants us to long for the life ahead, a life when there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

Followers of Christ are called to carry on lives of obedience and faithfulness, motivated by the hope – an unwavering assurance – that the best is yet to come, beyond our wildest imaginings. That’s why the promises in the Scriptures are so important – the God who truly loves us doesn’t make promises He won’t keep.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

To me, this says when that day comes we can truly declare, “It can’t get any better than this!”

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