One of the groups I follow regularly posts a question for comment and discussion: “How was your Sunday?” Admittedly it is a group associated with the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom so it would be expected for Sunday to be a particular focus in a normal week. But the more I thought about it, the more it troubled me.
This week something happened to resolve my concern somewhat. The office where I help out came under a cyber attack making the computers useless. It is only when they’re not there that you realise just how much you need them. My strong advice is to make regular back ups. But that’s not the point.
The attack happened late on Thursday. Not able to to do much that evening I had a sleepless night because I wasn’t sure I knew how we could get everything working again. There was a company about 100 miles away who had produced some of the specialist software we used. An exchange of emails overnight indicated that they would probably be able to help. But the future still seemed uncertain.
When I arrived at the office on the Friday morning there was someone I had not seen before with the owner by the computers. The new comer had come by appointment to see if there was some storage for his camper van (that’s, along with storing caravans, what the business does). It turned out that he was a recently retired IT guy from a local, major, multinational company. Three hours later, once he’d gone home to collect some kit, we were back up and running. He’s also coming on Monday to help revise the system to make it even more difficult for it to happen again.
If you’d had asked me first thing on Friday how my Thursday had been, my answer would have been pretty dire.
It you had asked me first thing on Saturday how my Friday had been, my answer would have been powerfully confirming the presence of God working in our everyday lives.
Asking only ‘how was Sunday’ seems to put God into a box that it’s the only day when He is always present and working in this world.
But there’s another aspect to this. It’s ‘take a backwards look’ that is being invited. In fact, so much of what we share – and are encouraged to share by social media – is what happened before. Sometimes we are burdened with those ‘good old days’ and challenged by ‘in my days’. Neither of which is a healthy way to see where we are now and what’s happening around us.
The late Sir Alec Guinness once said the first thing he did in the morning was to look in ‘The Times’ obituary column. If he wasn’t in it, he got up. Leaving aside the metaphysical aspect of that, it shows me that he was always looking into the new day.
In 2 Kings Chapter 13 is the account of Elisha’s death. He tells those gathered at his bedside to ‘Open my windows to the east’. Now, when I first heard this used in a sermon, it was used as an example of always looking forward, even on a death bed. A closer and fuller reading of the passage reveals something more. But it remains a good image for sermon and for life. As does Jesus’s promise to the thief hanging besides him on that first Good Friday that he would join Him in paradise that very day.
And there are many more examples of looking forward into the new day with hope and expectation. I’ve come across another quote which I may have already shared with you: Every morning when you rise, consider what a precious privileged is it to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. To that I will add: and go expectantly into the day the Lord has prepared for you and rejoice in all that occurs.
So, how is your day going to be?