Monday, May 23, 2011

One Last Pefect Day

If you’re familiar with the longest running half hour sitcom on television you know how the children behave in the backseat on a ride in the car. It’s only an exaggerated version of how most children act or just want to act. But when I think about it,, who hasn’t wanted to speak out over the course of a long trip either by car, bus or airplane and just repeat over and over: “Are we there yet?” with the mentality that this incantation might hasten your arrival.

I think that a lot of people are unsatisfied with the world and their life. They want this long trip to just end already. They have the knowledge that taking their own life is wrong but many of them may be so unhappy and disconnected that they just want to go to heaven and be with God. I can see how the prospect of the world ending in a Biblical way is appealing. If God came and fetched all His children home them there would be less sorrow and missing loved ones back on this imperfect planet.

Most believers and non-believers agreed that the world would not end on Saturday. Christians know what the Bible says and does not say. And science says that the world has millennia left. The accepted scientific theory says that thousands of years from now we will have one last perfect day. Our sun will be just right and normal one last day. But we won’t notice it when it happens because after that the sun will begin to change over a period of millions of years. Theory says it will swell into a red giant star and swallow the inner planets, possibly including Earth. Even if Earth isn’t devoured, life would have been exterminated by its star’s change. The oceans would be gone and atmosphere would long have escaped. But not to worry, says science. We will not even notice the change for millions of years after that one last perfect day.

I’m glad science allows us this last day where the sun shines just right. Even as I write this the sky is grey and rainy outside. But what is preventing me from having if not a perfect day that at least a good day where I can say at the end that I fought a good fight? Granted I can think of a few days in my life where by the end I wanted the world to end. But most days I have the power to live like it’s that one last perfect day. I can do my best to have a positive attitude and avoid words and actions that I might regret.

When I was 8 or 9 years old living in Lahaina there were four houses across the street scheduled for demolition in order to build condominiums. Three of the houses were homes for bohemian transients. And old Japanese couple lived in the last one. Every day Mister Tomura would be out in his yard taking care of it. I watched him rake leaves, a chore I hated and wondered why he bothered. The world of that house and yard were ending. There was a set termination date. Why did he do that miserable chore when he didn’t have to? Mister Tomura might have enjoyed raking. Or he might have just taken the pride in his yard to the point that he wanted it to look good up until the end. Either way, he was creating for his little world one last perfect day.

Not only did Mister Tomura accomplish this but he made an impression on me that I’m writing about 35 years later. I’ve never forgotten that courage and will to make a difference where he could. It’s not in anyone’s power to say when the world will end. What is in my power to do today and do I have the courage and will to make a difference?

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