by Annette Bridges. © 2007. All rights reserved.
Have we become so cynical that we expect people to behave badly rather than do good or for bad things to happen rather than good?Needless to say, much of what we read or hear in the news is bad. Perhaps we’re not to blame for thinking bad is more prevalent than good — if our conclusion is based upon news reports. But maybe we’re not getting the whole world’s story? Just because more bad stuff makes headlines, does this mean good is not happening? Could it even be that good is actually more abundant than bad?
I started thinking about this over the holidays. I was listening to Christmas music, when Jim Nabors began singing. With great delight, I immediately started to reminisce about a favorite “Gomer Pyle” episode when Sgt. Carter heard Gomer sing for the first time. I recalled Sgt. Carter’s complete shock and utter surprise to discover that Gomer had such an incredible singing voice. And I started thinking about how many times I was more surprised by something wonderful and good than something bad.
I began to realize the low expectations I was having for my life, making such dire predictions as: “Surely the next phone call from a family member will be more bad news.” If a special occasion was approaching, I feared something would “come up” to somehow ruin it. And with every ache or pain, I imagined the worst possible scenario.
I had allowed my thoughts to become tainted with jaded negativity. This had happened so gradually and subtly, like a thief in the night, I’d been caught completely off guard and had become unsuspecting prey. Yes, I had been stupefied into believing that my life was governed by “Murphy’s Law.”
What is this so-called law anyway?
It was in 1949 when Ed Murphy, a McDonnell Douglas test engineer, was expressing his frustration over laboratory mistakes, when he exclaimed, “Anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong.” But hadn’t Mr. Murphy simply fallen victim to pessimism and skepticism rather than discovering a “law” that governs human nature and events? Perhaps we’ve given way too much credence to Ed Murphy’s own exasperation. Or, at least I think I had.
All my life, from one faith tradition to another, I’d been taught of one God, one divine Principle, governing the universe with divine laws that are omnipotent and omnipresent. I’d been taught that God is good, so His laws are good. And I’d been taught this means that good is more powerful than any theory, prediction or fear that suggests otherwise.
Could it be that I needed to learn more about how to apply these divine laws in my everyday life?
I read about Elijah when he was running for his life (1 Kings, Chapter 19). God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice and nothing — not wind, earthquake or fire — could silence or disarm God’s voice. Is it not the same with God’s laws? Could I affirm the presence and power of God’s laws at all times and in all circumstances? And would this help me to hear the still, small voice of God’s truth whose light would dispel any dark images trying to overshadow my thought — my faith, my hope of good?
I’ve decided to be diligent in this new year at putting God’s divine laws into practice. And it’s already working. Every day is a day the Lord hath made. I know the Lord is good and only wants and sees good for his dear children. I’m learning that as I stand firm with this knowledge, even in difficult times, the opportunity and occasion arrive for good to overcome whatever appears as bad. This has included the dark forebodings of “bad” in my thought that actually had no basis whatsoever other than my fear.
Awareness and knowledge of God’s divine laws of good take away any foundation for fear. In fact, this knowledge brings with it an expectation that good – and not bad — is normal and natural. And with this expectation comes confidence and greater trust in God’s endless supply of goodness as well as a realization that good is a divine right for all of God’s children. And that includes you and me!
So, we don’t need to be surprised by good. We can expect it. And as we do, we’ll find good, we’ll see good and we’ll experience good.