It’s so easy for me to criticize others, to point out the down side of a situation, or to complain about my discomforts. But one crazy idea that always brings sunshine to my dreary days is to be on the lookout for goodness. I call them “goodness sightings.” You might liken these to a gratitude list.
But goodness sightings are a little different, because the occurrences, while they usually could evoke thankfulness; they are more about a perspective shift.
Like this weekend, I went away with a friend for some time of refreshment, which was very good. But I easily could have been overwhelmed by the crowds, the genre of music or the ladies in the hotel room next to ours, who talked loudly until midnight, but instead I focused on the goodness.
The company of a good friend, a nice hotel within walking distance to the conference, balmy autumn weather, incident free travel, lovely singing of timeless hymns, laughter and tears, memories and fresh moments of insight, free breakfast and coffee, and a surprise gift of a word on a bracelet.
A very bubbly lady asked if we wanted to win a free prize. I reluctantly said yes, pulling my friend over with me. The lady asked us a question and I looked to my friend to answer. She won a bracelet with the word “loved” etched on it. Later, she told me, she really needed that word. The lady asked me another question, and even gave me the answer, so I could “win” too.
I looked at the word on my bracelet, and immediately knew it was a goodness sighting.
My word was “dream.” I hadn’t thought of that word for some time. In a way, most of my dreams and aspirations have been fulfilled or attained by this season of my life. In another way, my desire to dream has faded, obscured by an overcast, brooding heart, a gray attitude of reluctance and dreary bout of cynicism, which pervades my imagination most days. I am hesitant to admit it, but I’m not sure what to dream or hope for anymore.
I wish I could say that by the end of today’s musings a new dream had broken through, but instead a small token on my wrist reminds me that I can dream. I can look for sightings of goodness. And today’s messages reminded me that goodness is looking for me, too.
What does it mean to you to be on the lookout for goodness? Do you notice goodness pursuing you?
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life . . . (Psalm 23:6 ESV)