“I think I’ll moved to Australia”. That’s a common refrain that I emit when I’m having a rough day. For the uninitiated, it comes from a poem titled “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day”. Alexander’s plight is that of many fifth graders – he’s picked on by his brothers, his teachers and his parents. His solution is to go to the land Down Under, until his mother reminds him they have bad days there too.
It turns out, Alexander might have known what he was talking about. In a recent news story (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070108/ts_nm/australia_life_dc), it was documented that Australians live longer than other nationals. The strange thing is indigenous Australians actually have shorter lifespans; it’s the people like Alexander who move there that benefit from the extended time on Earth. The longer lifetime may mean that you have more opportunities for bad days, but it seems to me that there’s at least an equal chance that you’ll have greater opportunities for good ones.
After all, it’s not the days that we have that define us. We, instead, should be defining the days. “Good” or “bad” is a matter of perception, or probably more appropriately, a matter of response. Sure, things that are categorically bad are going to occur. But how we choose to let those things influence us and dictate who we will be, is ultimately what determines their worth. Good or bad is not determined by the circumstance, its determined by us.
And there’s a Biblical case to be made for this as well. After all, “to live is Christ, to die is gain”. Regardless of what happens on this Earth, the ultimate outcome is secure. Good or bad – everything can be used to glorify our Savior – if that’s what we desire. And if that’s what happens, then the longer life of the Australians, or the shorten life of the one who seems to die prematurely, isn’t what determines the nature of our days. It’s the ability to further His kingdom.
I still wouldn’t mind visiting the other side of the Equator. There are definitely some days where I wouldn’t mind moving there. But I have to believe that regardless of where I reside, God can use my days for His glory. Even in Australia.