Granted… some people have more of them than others.
But we’ve all had them. Some wish for more of them. Interestingly enough, the term is from medieval times. It is actually a church term. Special church days or festivals were written on the calendar in red ink. The academic world picked up on the practice and professors at universities like Oxford and Cambridge wore red or “scarlet” robes on special days. (Thank you Google) Some calendars are still made with holidays in red.
Red print tends to get our attention. My teachers always seemed to correct my papers in red ink. That certainly got my attention.
Think back to your most significant red-letter days.
Mine? Getting braces on my teeth. Getting braces off my teeth. Driving my first car. Passing my nursing board exam. Getting engaged. Getting married. Sitting in the front yard of my first house, and thinking “my yard, my trees, my house”. Holding my babies for the first time… the list goes on. Red-letter days.
What if you could have a total life retro calendar with all of your red-letter days printed in, well, red? All the way back to your birth. That would, of course be in red. The day you learned to sit up. Red. The day you spoke your first word. Red. The day you discovered pistachio chocolate chip ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Red. You get it, right? Take a ride down memory lane for a moment, and recall your own red-letter days. Go on… it’ll be fun.
What if God had a red-letter day calendar for you?
Would He mark it in red the same as you did? I wonder. I am suspicious that He might not. We tend to think of red-letter days as some of the best days of our lives. Those were wonderful days, when something terrific happened to us. I think God might color those red, too, but I also think He might color some days red that we might not consider.
The day you were fired from your job. The day they walked out of your life for good. The day you missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime. The day you lost it all. The day, when in your brokenness, you cried out to Him in desperation, anger, frustration, or longing.
Why would God color those days red on your calendar?
Those are the days we would just rather forget; push to the nether regions of our memories. I think those are the days when God rubs his hands together, and gets to work on us. It’s those turning point days in our lives, the days when we are at the end of ourselves and our own abilities, that God accomplishes His best in us. I think those are the days God would mark as red on our calendars.
I’ve had some days that God might color red on my calendar this last year that I would not. I’ll bet you have, too. Makes me wonder what He’s up to. Our lives are sprinkled with both kinds of red-letter days: the celebratory, party throwing kind, and the hard, frustrating, teeth gnashing kind.
I think the most mature of Christ followers learns to appreciate, even celebrate, both. I won’t claim to be one of those… not yet. But the Apostle Paul set the example for the rest of us to follow. Paul certainly had red-letter days of both kinds, and yet he recognized that in those hardest of days God was at work, and that His plan was being fulfilled in him. Whether free or imprisoned Paul learned to be content, and to trust in the God that ordered his days.