During my next to last visit to New York I stayed at an unfamiliar hotel. It was late and I was hungry enough to eat Brussel sprouts, asparagus and beets! (Trust me, I was desperate!) I had $10 when I wandered into the gift shop but quickly spent $12.43. The cashier assured me $2.43 wasn’t worth another trip and said I could drop it off the next morning. The next morning I was rushing and I didn’t give that $2.43 a second thought until I was on a plane halfway to Nashville.
Every lesson my parents taught me about honesty and integrity loomed in front of me: “If you do right, right will follow you,” Keep your word,” “Your word is your bond,” they always said. Let me tell you, that $2.43 worried me until I got back to New York, got my trusty GPS, walked that 20 blocks, found that lil fella in the gift shop and paid him that $2.43! I explained why I was giving him the crumpled dollars and change. He had forgotten—but I couldn’t.
That’s when I decided we all need a MAKE IT RIGHT DAY (MIRD) to set things straight, to make things right—all kinds of things. Yes, I know it will take more than $2.43 to make the BIG things right but please don’t let another day pass with you carrying around guilt, shame and misery that will distract, haunt and aggravate you like gum on the bottom of your shoe, ill-fitting pantyhose and telemarketers calling Saturday morning when you’re trying to sleep.
Here are three ways you may celebrate MIRD, an official and bonafide red-letter day:
LET IT GO. Whatever happened years ago–hurt feelings, a misunderstanding, somebody took your turn or looked at you wrong, that ugly mud fence your neighbor installed next to your beautiful home is still an eyesore—LET IT GO! Sometimes we’re holding grudges and hard feelings but we can’t remember why. LET THEM GO! As much as you would want to change other folks, the only person you can control is you—LET IT GO!
DO WHAT’S RIGHT! We always know what’s right—if you get too much change or an extra shirt in your TJMAXX bag, do what’s right and return it so you can sleep well tonight (a clear conscience is a soft pillow” someone said). Treat everyone you meet today with extraordinary kindness and grace. Intervene and advocate for justice, mercy and equity whenever you can. Pay attention.
UNDERSTAND WHO IS/AND IS NOT IN CHARGE. LISTEN FOR/TO GOD. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Let us seek God’s guidance as we work to heal, build bridges and be more like Jesus Christ. Here’s our MIRD prayer today: “Lord, thank you for your plans –help me start fresh each morning with new mercies. Let me forgive and be forgiven and let me scatter sunshine and encouragement in every corner instead of complaining, whining and moaning all the time. Help me be the rainbow in someone’s cloud today and tonight when you think of me, may it be with delight! Amen.