“Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.”
Psalm 145:7 NLT
Many prefer to keep God away from daily life. To them, God is an object of religious interest or personal belief but not for our teeming streets and cities. Society wants a clear line of demarcation between doing God and doing life. Alastair Campbell, senior advisor to Tony Blair, interrupted an interview to announce that “We don’t do God”. More recently when Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury spoke to the TUC conference, concern was expressed across the media that he was ‘playing away from home’ in suggesting God, politics, business and industry have anything in common. Yet, if God is God, regardless of personal preferences, he is engaged in all of life.
Climbing down from the giddy heights of politics and media and returning to conversations between neighbours, friends and colleagues, there appears a common thread of anxiety and criticism. Watch any vox pop and the contributions reveal more of what people don’t want or like. Even the people of God, it seems, have a tendency towards the negative rather than the positive, finding it easy to identify what we are against.
I certainly found myself in this company. Then I discovered there was so much more to be said about the goodness of God. Yet, I had very little experience of describing my life in positive terms. I needed some practise. If I struggled to do this when things went well, I had little chance of finding a constructive narrative when life went wrong. So I had to choose to change gears and develop positive and practical reasons why I loved and served God. In a world of ‘bad news’ it’s essential we might find some good news. In every disaster, we celebrate the glimmers of hope a good news account brings. If God can be held responsible for all the bad news with the simple statement ‘an act of God’, who takes credit for all the good news across a fallen, selfish world?
Do you see life as a glass half-empty or half-full?
Lord, let my voice be one full of wonder and excitement about all you do, not full of grumbling or complaining at all that is wrong.