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Albritton: Coping with bad days

Albritton: Coping with bad days

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Albritton: Coping with bad days

Walter Albritton

Bad days happen to everyone. You know what I mean. You slept late. You’re in a hurry to get to work. Hurrying to shave, you cut yourself — and it takes forever to stop the bleeding.

You are walking out the door when your phone rings. It’s your mother-in-law. Distracted, you walk to the car and realize you left the keys on the counter. You get Mama Dearest off the phone and rush back to the car. It won’t start. The battery is dead. Jumper cables to the rescue.

The guy with the blue light stops you for speeding. Gives you a lecture and a ticket. You are an hour late to work. Exasperated, you say to the first person who will listen, “I should have stayed in bed!”

Crazy days happen to preachers. You come across a great story for your sermon. But after church, a wise guy ruins your day. One Sunday I shared my experience of baptizing a tall man who slipped out of my grasp when I put him under the water. By the time I raised him up, he was spewing water and gasping for air. After the benediction, wise guy walks up and says, “I liked your story about the baptism; I heard Robert Schuller tell that story on the ‘Hour of Power.’” My story! My experience! But Schuller gets credit for it — bad day!

So how can we handle life’s bad days? First, no matter what happens, never surrender to pessimism. Clint Eastwood introduced us to Toby Keith’s song, “Don’t let the old man in.” That’s the way to combat pessimism — don’t let it in.

Second, never give up on optimism. Be positive anyhow. Stay optimistic!

My role model for optimism is the football coach who remained optimistic even though his team kept losing every game. Asked how he kept his spirit up, he said, “Let me tell you the kind of guy I am. If I fall in a mud puddle, I get up and feel in my pockets for fish.”

On bad days, and good days, that’s a winning attitude in the game of life. Pessimism is a loser. Optimism is a winner. All day long.

Now lest you think this is merely the philosophy of a country preacher, I must remind you that Jesus was the ultimate optimist — and he warned against pessimism.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus urged the disciples to not be “anxious about tomorrow.” I like the way Eugene Peterson renders verse 6:34 – “God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

That’s the good news about bad days. Trust Christ when bad days happen. He is ready to help you — especially on the days when everything goes wrong!

Walter Albritton is a Methodist minister and writes a weekly column for the Opelika-Auburn News. Contact him at

Walter Albritton is a Methodist minister and writes a weekly column for the Opelika-Auburn News. Contact him at


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