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Today, on the way to my Statistics class, I passed a
man who works for Buildings and Grounds here on campus. Before I say anything
else you have to know something about this man.

  1. He is a hard worker. Nearly every time I see him, he is working on something for
    the school.
  2. He is very friendly. He rarely lets a person pass him without saying “Good
    morning,” or offering some other greeting.

So, knowing what I know of him, I wasn’t surprised
when he asked of me, “How are you today?”

Of course, I simply answered with the expected
response, “I’m good. How are you?”

But his very simple answer rather surprised me.

“I’m always good…But Sundays I’m gooder.”

Well, grammatical fallacies aside, I truly hadn’t expected
him to say that. So, I started thinking about what he had said.

What would life be like if I was “always good?”
Certainly it doesn’t mean that I would never have reason to be upset, but would
I be able to have a positive outlook on every difficult situation that comes my
way? And what about all those times I’ve said “I’m good” when I really wasn’t?
If I am “always good,” would I be able to tell the truth when people ask me the
how-are-you question?

All of this makes me think of James 1:2-4 (NIV), “2Consider
it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because
you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance
must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking
anything.”

It’s difficult to always have a positive outlook on
life, but it is possible. As Christians, we have hope in God’s perfect
strength. I have to remind myself of this all the time, but I need never worry
that my trials will break me. They can bend and pull all they want – and that
bending and pulling gets even worse when I tell God that I am strong enough to
handle it on my own – but I will never be broken.

“The testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
That part of the verse reminds me of the last part of this man’s reply: “But
Sundays I’m gooder.” What is Sunday for? Church, yes, but most importantly it
is an entire day that is set aside as a time for us to rest in the love and
peace of our Heavenly Father. Sunday is the day when we have to step back and
say, “God, if You, the Creator of the universe, took a day off from running all
of creation, then I think I need to take a day off from trying to run my own
little world, and give it all back to You.” It seems that Sunday is the day
that reminds us that we are only human, and we can only do so much. It is an
odd fact that a dose of humility from God can be encouraging. So, we face
trials to develop perseverance, but this is not the kind of perseverance that
you see on the faces of marathon runners during the last quarter of the race.
This is the kind of perseverance that we find when we look to God and lay everything
down and let Him take care of it. This is the kind of perseverance that comes
from trusting in someone other than ourselves. It is the most difficult type of
perseverance, but it is the most beneficial. It’s the type of perseverance that
makes Sundays better than all of the other days in the week, but it is also the
type of perseverance that should be practiced every time we try too hard to
direct our own paths.

I want to be “always good,” and on Sundays I want to
be “gooder.” I want to look at my difficulties and still be able to think
positively. Then, I want to look at God and thank Him for the chance to take a
rest from all of my worries and let Him do the planning. I’ve never found this
to be easy, but hopefully now I will be able to remember it a little better
thanks to a man who simply asked me a question.

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