Last spring, my wife and I took our granddaughter, Charli, and her daddy to the Calsonic Arena to see the circus. At the time, Charli said it was "the best day ever."
I have thought about that phrase a lot since then. And I seem to have had quite a few of those "best days ever" since then.
There have been busy Sundays with good worship services and an afternoon filled with meetings when I would sit back at the end of the day and reflect. I would think about my parishioners and the fellowship we share and I would say to myself, "This has been the best day ever!"
I went with a group of folks out to the Navajo Reservation in June and we ministered to the children and the staff at Native American Outreach Ministries, Inc. I had several ruptured disks in my neck at the time and I was in a lot of pain all day long; and I had caught a stomach bug while we were out there so I was sick. In spite of not feeling real good, I would think at the end of the day, "This is the best day ever!"
My wife, Lynn, and I took some time off this summer to visit the historic city of St. Augustine, Fla. In the mornings we rode a bus into the city from our hotel near the beach and we would ride the trolley to all of the sites of interest in the downtown area. We rode the bus back to the hotel in the afternoon and then we would find a good restaurant to enjoy dinner together. As we sat resting in our room at the end of the day I would think, "This has been the best day ever!"
Lynn and I planned nearby excursions we would take to celebrate her 60th birthday this month, and we set off together. We went to Huntsville, Ala., on her birthday and enjoyed the day with her mother. I thanked Cleda Freeman for giving birth to the most amazing woman I have ever known. I knew that day of Lynn's birth had to have been "the best day ever!"
Several days later we continued our celebration and we drove down to Chattanooga. We had planned on walking through downtown and on to the river front, but it rained...a lot.
We settled into our hotel and then walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner. We had brought our umbrellas along, so we walked in the rain, protected for the most part by those umbrellas.
We enjoyed a great dinner together at Sugar's BBQ, and then we walked back in the rain to our hotel. We enjoyed the evening together, there in our room, doing what we could have done at home. We watched TV and read and relaxed. But, at the end of the day, I thought back and knew that it had been, "the best day ever!"
This week I went with my son, Michael, and his daughter, Charli, and my daughter, Laura, and her little one, Kori, and we went out to the farm. We were all excited to be able to spend the day together.
The Chicken Whisperer, Marie Lane, was our hostess as we visited her out at Hill Top Farm. Charli and Kori were so excited to revisit this wonder land in the hills of Bedford County. They had been there before with Lynn and me, but now they were back with their parents.
Kori, just 15 months old, was so excited to walk amongst Marie's numerous multi-colored chickens and explore the grounds with them.
Three and a half year old Charli, was excited to pet the chickens and to have the goats eat out of her hands.
When we said goodbye to Marie and all of her animals we had lunch together at the Pit Stop. Then we stopped at the playground at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church and the kids swung on the swings and slid down the slides. I sat and enjoyed the cool breeze and watched my children enjoy time together.
When we got back to my house, Michael and Charli said goodbye and went home, while Laura and Kori and I rested. Kori and I took a nap together in my recliner, and Laura posted pictures of our day on Facebook. When the girls left to go home that afternoon, I knew it had been a wonderful time together for all of us
When Lynn got home that evening from visiting her mother in Alabama I told her all about our day, and I thought, "This has been the best day ever!"
King David wrote in Psalm 118:24, "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
When we remember that God has his hand on every day we live, whether we are having fun and the sun is shining, or whether we are in pain and feeling sick, or it's raining outside. When we remember that the Lord made this day, then it becomes "the best day ever!"
-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.