We have all been captivated by the scenes of devastation coming out of Japan . This country was once an enemy of the United States and is now a partner. Whether an ally or not, seeing the people of northern Japan suffering so, and realizing the great tragedy they have suffered, we must take time to pray and to give to help those who have lost everything, some their entire families. If you are considering financial assistance, please choose the organization carefully. You are always safe choosing the Red Cross or the disaster program in your own denomination. The PCUSA Disaster Assistance Program is already mobilizing to assist the people of Japan . If you can, give, or if you cannot, you can pray. Pray that those who are missing will be found alive, that searchers will be given grace and strength for the gruesome task ahead of them, and pray that many will come to know Christ through this crisis.
Sorry I didn’t send an article last week. I found myself sick and on antibiotics and slept right through the weekend. Thank you to everyone who sent your prayers and wishes for my recovery! It helped!
Each era has its own “catch” phrases. For example, in 1975 everyone was exclaiming “Dyno-mite!” instead of just saying, “Hey, that’s great!” You might remember these from the 80s: “Did I do that?” (Steve Erkel on Family Matters). “Where’s the beef?” (Wendy’s commercials). And then there are a few that seem to be timeless, such as “This message will self-destruct in 60 seconds,” (Mission Impossible, the TV show), and “Well, punk, are you feeling lucky?” (Dirty Harry).
Whatever catch phrases you have used or currently use, I’ve been hearing one a lot lately, on television reality shows especially: “at the end of the day.” This phrase is most often used in context of a character talking about his or her experiences dealing with surprises and frustrations that come along throughout the day. A few examples: “At the end of the day, as long as the customer is happy, I’m happy.” “At the end of the day, we got the work done, and that is what matters.”
I decided to “jump on the bandwagon” and use the catch phrase, as well. You see, this phrase does give us a good measure for aligning our priorities. “At the end of the day” tells us that whatever happens during that day, how it ends is most important. Another catch phrase illustrating this same thought might be, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” These phrases shed a new light on the day-to-day occurrences in our lives.
My mother used to say, “Every dog has its day.” In other words, the other person may seem to be on top now, but just remember that everything balances out in the end. A common theme among self-help books in the past few years (and the title of one book) was “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff).” What in your life is causing you frustration and anger, anxiety and even rage? Looking at it according to “the end of the day” philosophy, is it really that important? Will it really make that much of a difference? Is it really a BIG thing, or just a small annoyance that, in the long haul, won’t make a difference?
In the day-to-day activities of life, we find ourselves challenged to be the bigger person, to have patience, to show love to the unlovely. And much of the time we are successful. But there are those days, when we didn’t sleep well, when the troubles of life are weighing down on us, when our hope is just a bit tarnished, and it is very hard to think about “the end of the day.” The middle of the day is just too much in our faces to even think about evening, much less bedtime!
First, consider Christ who had more reason to be impatient than anyone! He continually tried to teach his followers, and they continually misunderstood. He came to give good gifts, and the religious leaders called him evil. Even his closest followers denied him and left him alone in his final hours. The book of Hebrews tells us, “. . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2,3).
Jesus considered the end of the day, the long haul, the redemption of God’s creation, when he dealt with the annoyances of the day. He found peace and joy in the truth that whatever he experienced, when it was over, he would have completed his mission. When the annoyances of the day seem to captivate you, look to the end of the day, try to see the BIG picture. Take a deep breath, and remember that in the end all that matters is your final destination—that we be presented to Christ complete.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
Blessings, Mary Kay Glunt, Pastor
Ebenezer Presbyterian Church