With what we’ve seen of weather disasters, economic problems, and difficulties in our cities, there are likely many of us who would say, “Good riddance!” to 2011. But let’s not forget some of the good news, such as the encouraging stirrings and revolutions for democracy that we’re seeing in some countries. There are also studies indicating that violence is generally decreasing in tangible ways. And in the debates and protests around the globe, I have been struck by the tremendous heart evident in people.
In light of such things, along with what hopes we still have within us, maybe we can begin to see in this past year something of the promise of good that’s already here. Sure, hope isn’t enough to help someone recover after a disaster. But let’s consider where things can go when we see our lives from the standpoint that our divine Creator is profoundly good and has a wonderful order of His universe for us to discover in whatever country and village we find ourselves.
This year has had its challenges for me, including financial challenges. But it then recently occurred to me that I was overly swayed by the bad news going on – and not swayed enough by the promise of what I was able to discover of God’s good to help us all. This realization was a powerful turning point for me, from which I went forward and found ways to make a difference in my year and, I would like to think, in the lives of those around me.
It’s in this spirit that I’ve thought of the past year as really having been full of promise. A God-based view of things makes all the difference. It’s this spiritual lens that enables us to stay above the fray, harvest the good of the present, and so best prepare for tomorrow. Christ Jesus said: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35).
Are we waiting for good to come along from somewhere else? Are we focused on ways we haven’t seen the good we want? Or rather, are we trying to see more of the good that God has already provided – goodness that is ready for us to spread in our world?
Truly, the good that’s in store for us is not something that’s yet to be created. It’s ready for us to see. Life was not created for us to step and stumble through alone. Neither was it created for us to petition God for a random blessing. We are witnesses of God’s infinite good.
Sure, maybe it feels more like we’re witnesses in training, since the way doesn’t always seem clear. But a God-centered view leads us to more good. We need only to follow it. The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote: “The conscientious are successful. They follow faithfully; through evil or through good report, they work on to the achievement of good; by patience, they inherit the promise” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 340).
We’re learning about what works in life, and maybe plenty about what doesn’t work, and there’s enough going on to suggest that we’ll continue to gain in our role as witnesses to God’s infinite glory. So let’s keep on looking to the light.
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