Today I was at Church and there was reading from St. Paul (to the Philippians if you are wondering) that really touch my heart! So I will quote it for you:
“whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worth praise, think about these things. Keep doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the peace of God will be with you.” Phil 4: 8-9
Wow! What a message. To me, hearing that we are to look for the beauty, joy, and goodness is life is a lesson in letting go. Letting go of fear, of guilt, and of comparisons to others. Good things come from God and we are constantly being blessed with moments of goodness, but so often those moments are swallowed by the fear we encounter in life and online. Do you ever read an article online that just makes you feel like we are all going to die and there is no way you could ever protect your kids? (Yes? Me too! Hello Ebola). When I start to focus on these things, they grow to crazy HUGE worries that start to cripple me. I just want to take my husband and kids, hunker down into a hole, and never leave (kidnapping, sickness, fire, gunmen……the list of worries way too long sometimes). But what does that do for your life, for your faith, for your peace…..NOTHING! When we find something horrible it is crazy easy to hang onto it.
However, I have noticed when we find something amazing and beautiful, we are quick to see it and move on. Why? I know that this is not just me. Take a look at anything in the media. The nurse that adopted the son of her cancer patient and took them both to live with her family while the patient is sick…….beautiful. We heard about her and then she was gone. But the Ebola scare…..while real……is EVERYWHERE and endless. It gets in your head and never goes away. Now every time your kids sniffles, you are certain they are going to die! (Ok maybe not you…..but me maybe) 😉 How much would life change if we merely acknowledge the bad things, and focus instead on the good. I am not totally unrealistic. It is good to understand, and analyze the bad things so we can move past them and even end them. It is good to understand the dangers that are there, but there comes a point where those things can be over exploited. Why don’t we hear more about how the doctors are working to find new ways to try and end sickness? Why don’t we hear more about the deeds of the soldiers who are stopping attacks in the Middles East? Why don’t we hear more about the good? And why do we not look for it?
We should and must see the good. We need to find the blessings and joys. Find Honor and Justice and Excellence! What a change we would all feel! I believe that the word in the bible was PEACE. Don’t we all want that? Peace that God is overseeing it all and has his hand in all parts of life. He is protecting and guiding, even through the bad things. When we can look for the beauty, we can better see God and when we see God we can allow ourselves to be free. And with freedom comes peace. We are enough, we are safe in his care, and we are loved. This is the legacy I want to leave my kids. Educations is important, money is necessary, but the knowledge of how to find beauty, to find God, in every part of life is the best thing I can think to pass on to them. I want them to find beauty even in the hardest, most challenging part of life. There is always some tiny scrap of beauty to find, even in the darkest places. So look for those things, think about them, reflect on them and find peace!
What about you? Do you think that good is found everywhere? Is it something we need to focus on more?