ChainsawIt is inevitable that eventually, everyone in existence on earth will experience an explicit encounter with a “bad day.” This is of course unless you are one of those fortunate few who awaken to sunshine, lollipops and rainbow candy sprinkles on the regular. If such is the case, in your case, please feel free to skip and sing your gifted, blessed little self to somewhere the hell else. As for the rest of us (here on planet reality) the occasional bad day is a rather common occurrence.

At times it’s because we ourselves feel bad. Not truly and fully physically ill, just feeling a bit off, just enough to truly and fully screw up our day. On other occasions one singular event can sour our moods and everything seems to follow suit and go wrong. Then there are those days where the worst possible thing can go wrong at the worst possible moment… and it brought friends. Such has been the case for yours truly this past week.

Monday: all I wanted to do was mow the grass. “Wanted” is a bit of a stretch because “wanting to” and knowing you “need to” are two different animals. Still, good spirits all round as the Lawn Ranger mounted his trusty steed. Only to have it make two trim laps before snapping a spindle and launching a blade into the ground.

Tuesday: a long awaited financial investment went sour and money was lost.

Wednesday: all I wanted to do was go to work. (See Monday for want and need differential). However the truck decided to follow the mower’s example and only managed to get me roughly 200 yards closer to my goal. Trapping me at home for the duration of the day and a hefty chunk lost on my pay stub.

Thursday: a missed workday means backed up projects and shortened deadlines when you return. Stress and frustration as catch-up is played at full speed.

SawFriday: truck’s back to the tune of $1000 with warning of more expensive repairs in the near future. Mower parts are out of stock at the local place and will have to be ordered online and Welcome to the Jungle begins to waft across the backyard.

Now my intention here is not to b****, complain or seek sympathy — I’ve had far worse days and don’t care for pity. However through it all, as these trials and tribulations were shared with others, I awaited a particular off-hand observation to my situation. In the form of a phrase that is oft made to folks going through a rough patch. And surely enough it was soon uttered — “Perhaps you are being… tested.”

Tested??? Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t tests announced in advance, allowing you time to prepare and study for them? This s*** just came out of left field… so perhaps I am being pop-quizzed?

Tested??? When did the test start? Is there a time limit? Should I be using a No. 2 pencil which someone will eventually tell me to put down?

What’s the subject of this testing? Time management, mechanical aptitude, life in general? These are obviously story problems, with multiple choice answers but will require some equations to solve. Do I have to show my work? Would it be wise to just answer option “C” every time? Or is this all psychology and I just need to write a paper explaining why the truck is the lawnmower and isn’t even really there?

Ya know to heck with the source material and testing parameters. There’s a much bigger question to ask here. That being — who is giving this test?

Survey says… God?!? At least that’s what most people who say “perhaps you’re being tested” tend to believe. Seriously? If there is a God, what would He be testing people for? Survey (and most Christians) says… faith! Why? If He is all knowing then He knows your faith and shouldn’t need to mess with you. You’re not supposed to question Him, so why would he want to question you when he already knows the answers? That doesn’t set a very good example.

I don’t like the “testing god” or that he has such a fragile ego. I would prefer to believe in a God that wouldn’t make people suffer hardships just to see if they’ll still like him.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.