‘Most everything’s working. It’s all good’

God would love to ‘climb out of bed, survey the universe,’ and think those words to Himself

By George Valadie

I’m not the weather fanatic my wife is, but I know this much: if our daughter in Little Rock gets hit by something crazy, odds are pretty good Chattanooga is sitting in the same path.

Not nearly as bad, thank goodness, but windy and wet and happy to live on the outer edges. This time she texted while hunkered down in their basement crawlspace. So, I knew something couldn’t be far behind.

And sure enough …

I have written before about my retirement volunteer gig. No canonization awaits. I just drive a Toyota Corolla shuttle around the hospital parking lot. A once-a-week, four-hour shift of offering rides.

It’s a remarkable institution that’s gotten bigger and better through the years—new drugs and doctors, more patients and parking. But as they have grown, geography and engineering have forced their expansion to grow outward rather than upward.

So, there are a lot of entrances, and there’s a lot of blacktop. And even if one’s been there before, folks don’t always land exactly where they want to be. And seldom as close as they try to be.

It all looks flat and manageable unless your legs hurt or your hip’s bugging you or your breathing is labored or you’re on a walker or a hundred other reasons why you might be at the hospital.

It looks flat and manageable to the healthy, too, until they’re actually walking it.

Still, the majority who cross my path opt to do just that.

“No thanks, the steps will do me good.”

“It’s not that far, right?”

“I’m heading in to exercise, I’d feel funny riding to the front door. I better not.”

Rain has a habit of changing all that, though. And I don’t blame them. Little Rock’s wet weather had arrived right on schedule.

So, the man waved me down and ducked into my shuttle, no hat, no umbrella, arms crossed over his soaking-wet head, trying to fend off the downpour.

“How are you today?” he asked with a voice that was smiling in spite of his morning.

I could imagine he made the best of whatever came his way.

“Well, I’m dry and you’re not,” I teased, “so things are pretty good for me. How about you?”

“Well, it’s like I used to tell the guys at work,” he offered. “I’d tell them, ‘Got up today. Most everything’s working! It’s all good.’”

What a perfect outlook … most everything’s working.

It seemed a little forward of me to ask what was and wasn’t. He was my age after all, and there are some aspects of my own health I wouldn’t particularly want to share.

My bones and joints are in good shape, so there’s that. I’m actually pretty limber for a guy who’s 70 1/2.

I mention the “half” like our grandkids used to when we would ask, “How old are you?” And they’d hold up some fingers but always add “and a half” whenever they crossed that milestone.

They were proud … as I am now. Another half-year these days is every bit the accomplishment it was when we were youths.

In spite of my years, and at the risk of jinxing my entire life, I’m blessed my innards all function smoothly with the exception of some acid reflux that needs medicinal attention.

Some brain surgery six or seven years ago left me with a touch of double vision and some facial numbness, not unlike the sort you get when you’ve been to the dentist and you’ve almost gotten that normal feeling back. But not quite.

I’ve had more than a few broken bones, two cataracts, and a melanoma. But each is healed. Each is doing its thing.

So all in all, “most everything’s working.”


When the sun came out, and the hospital visitors went back to their walking, I was left with a bit of time to ponder the parts of my life that aren’t exactly working as they should.

Nancy says there’s something wrong with my “listener.” She’s probably right. I know my ears don’t hear as well as when I was younger, but I’m pretty sure she’s not talking about that.

“Did you find my earring under the bed?”

“What in the world are you talking about?”

“I asked you to look because I think I heard one fall under there the other night.”

“I didn’t because you never said anything to me about that.”

“Yes, I did, and you said, ‘OK.’ You just don’t listen.”

She may have a point. I’d tell her “but most everything’s working,” except I don’t think she’d care.

I’ve realized my “word-keeper” is a bit hit-and-miss as well. Though I’m glad it hits more than it misses.

I tell the grandkids we can go to the movie on the weekend. Or I tell Nancy I’ll take down the “Let it snow” flag. Or I tell my sisters we’ll get together for dinner soon.

But I don’t always keep my word.

It’s probably because I give myself a pass since none of these feel like major commitments—to me. I’m guessing their outlook is different whenever I disappoint.

I’ve also realized my “forgiver” is particularly out of whack. And I think it’s tied to whatever part of me that’s supposed to let go of anger.

When I am wronged—and we all are on occasion—I’m not sure why I’m willing to forgive some but not others. They stay “in my box.” I borrowed it from my wife; it’s where she keeps all my past sins.

And it’s there some people seem to stay. I don’t know why. Like most folks, being angry just eats at me. I haven’t noticed it impacting them all that much.

Not to mention we’re called to forgive. Everyone. Like the Savior who forgives me. Over and over.

I just don’t know if He forgives my unforgiving.

But “most everything’s working. It’s all good.”

I wonder how our Creator feels. When He rises in the morning, how does He view the world He spun into existence?

What jumps out more? The conflicts in Haiti and Gaza and Ukraine? Or the peacemakers trying to solve them?

The hatred between red and blue? Or those in the middle fighting to expand the common ground?

What catches his eye more? The decline in church attendance? Or the holy who serve and pray then serve some more?

Where is His focus? The hungry? The homeless? The hopeless who never seem to go away?

Or the many who share with the “least” of his brethren.

I can’t imagine what it’s like being God. Must not be easy.

In His omnipotence, He created then gave away that free-will thing. Then chose to sit back and watch humanity try to use it. Some figure it out, many do not.

Is the world as bad as the media reports? I don’t know about all that, but I know we could do better.

And don’t you know just one time He’d love to climb out of bed, survey the universe and think to Himself …

“Most everything’s working. It’s all good.”

Dear God—Please bless those who give their lives to those who are suffering, bedridden, walking their final journey home. Give them wisdom to add peace to the passage. Amen.


George Valadie is a parishioner at St. Stephen Church in Chattanooga and author of the newly released book “We Lost Our Fifth Fork … and other moments when we need some perspective.”

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