March 21 celebrates common courtesy, which, as we all know, isn’t actually all that common. Sometimes I think we are all waiting for that chance to do something big and wonderful, something heroic, where we can point and say, “there is the good I have done.” Sadly, much of life is made up of the small, the mundane, the almost meaningless, and these small things may far outweigh the heroic deed we hope to be remembered for.
Common courtesy consists of just these tiny, momentary deeds: holding a door open, proper table manners, saying hello and goodbye, giving up your seat to someone who needs it . . . the list goes on and on. National Common Courtesy Day is the perfect day to start practicing new habits of common courtesy with everyone you meet.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
For some strange reason, March 20 is now known as Extraterrestrial Abduction Day or Alien Abduction Day. Some people seem to look on the day as a warning, others, as an exciting possibility, and the majority of us as a great joke and perfect opportunity for a costume party. Although just about everyone knows about Roswell, New Mexico, you can read here about several other possible hot spots for extraterrestrial visits.
Now, for a very loose segue, God gave many instructions concerning those who were strangers and aliens in the land (just as we use the legal terms resident alien, illegal alien, etc.):
“Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.”
Fred McFeely Rogers was born on March 20, 1928. Today, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day is celebrated on his birthday, especially in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Celebrations include singing the neighbor song and “It’s Such a Good Feeling,” helping out neighbors, and wearing a sweater.
Since I am one of the many, many kids that grew up watching (and loving) “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” I couldn’t let this day slip by. I’m sure there are many others that enjoyed his songs, sweaters, and visits to all the characters in Make Believe. I think my favorite part was always the field trips to see how things were made. What’s your favorite part?
“The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Happy National Poultry Day, everyone!
- have an omelet for breakfast
- sing along with Gonzo’s favorite chicken, Camilla (Here’s “Forget You” from the most recent Muppet Movie.)
- watch a baby chicken hatch with Milo and Otis (hatching begins around three minutes in)
- pull some stale bread from the freezer and go feed some ducks
- try a new poultry recipe for dinner tonight (chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, etc.)
And for dessert, take a moment to celebrate National Chocolate Caramel Day.
“So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. “
On Supreme Sacrifice Day we take the time to honor those who have sacrificed themselves for us. Although people make many types of sacrifices, the term “supreme sacrifice” usually refers to dying for someone. Today celebrates all the men and women who have died protecting others:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:12 & 13
For Christians, today is also a special day for remembering Christ, our Passover lamb:
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I thought about discussing a lesser known holiday today, like National Quilting Day or Submarine Day, but, since I actually did inherit a good bit of Irish blood, I simply can’t pass up Saint Patrick’s Day.
I suspect we all know the basic facts of St. Patrick’s life: kidnapped from his home as a young man/boy and taken to Ireland as a slave, escaped over 6 years later, began to take his faith seriously, spent over 15 years in religious training, and returned to Ireland to spread the gospel.
Now, hold on a second. Yes, I said 15 years. Ouch. Even our doctors and lawyers get their training faster today.
For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
If you were paying attention yesterday, you celebrated/endured the awesomely depressing holiday “National Everything You Think Is Wrong Day.” Today you can put that all behind you. You may think wrong, but, at least for today, every action is totally correct, because today is National Everything You Do Is Right Day.
Today you can relax. Do your best, and know that God is still in control.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Caveat 1: Yes, I do know that not everything you or I do is right. Yes, all have sinned and fallen short. Nevertheless, at least for today, let’s focus on what’s right with the world.
Caveat 2: If you’ve ever worked retail, take a moment and laugh. Instead of this day being for you or me, pretend you are telling a customer about it. This is the perfect day for the customer, who, as we all know, is always right. “Yes, ma’am,” “Of course, sir,” “right away.”
March 15 (aka the Ides of March) is National Everything You Think Is Wrong Day. So, if it’s March 15, whatever you are thinking, you’re wrong. If you don’t believe me, check out wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases. (Personal favorite: “curse of knowledge,” thanks to the instruction relay in some of the math classes I took.)
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.”
Romans 3:10b & 11
If that list shocks you, you’re in good company. Today is also Dumbstruck Day! Sit back, pop your eyebrows, and let your jaw swing open. You can close it and cope tomorrow; today is the day to sit in awe.
March 14 — 3.14 — is Pi Day! It’s time to celebrate that irrational mathematical concept with math games, circles, and (my personal favorite) pies!
(Yes, I know it’s “pi” not “pie,” but pies are circular too! If it makes you feel better, you can measure the diameter and figure out the circumference and area before you eat it. )
The verse today is a bit of a stretch, but bear with me. The earth rotating is similar to making a circle, right? And it just keeps going and going, like the digits of pi!
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 & 6
Just to make today even more exciting, the legendary scientist Albert Einstein was born on this day in 1879.
You can find more information, pictures, pi day clothing, and party suggestions at PiDay.org and at Pi Day at the San Francisco Exploratorium.
Happy Pi Day!
National Jewel Day is celebrated every March 13.
So . . . what kinds are you getting for me?
Instead of picking just one verse today, I decided to pull three verses from Proverbs, each describing something more precious than precious jewels. First off, wisdom:
Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Proverbs 8:10 & 11
Second, lips that speak knowledge (amen!):
Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
Third, a wife of noble character:
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
So, obviously, there are things that are far more valuable than rubies, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, etc., but, on the other hand . . . those jewels aren’t bad themselves either!