RELIGION: Look for and find the good

“Use your voice for Good in this world. There are many who tear down, but it’s those who build up that truly touch hearts and transform lives.” — Heather Wolf, author.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of all the character bashing going on in the world today. Somehow humanity has been diverted from looking for and finding the good. We are being torn away from what is truly important with such drama and violence. We seem to have little time to focus on our spiritual life and to bring back harmony and balance and peace.

In the midst of all this turmoil, health issues, social issues, political issues, where is God? Where is the good? We are bombarded with passionate messages demanding that we turn away from seeing the good to seeing only the mistakes, the errors, the supposed incompetence of whoever has an opinion on any or all of these issues.

No one is reminding us to look for and find the good in life. No one, it seems, is building up what truly is important, that “touches hearts and transforms lives.” No one… except those spiritual leaders who stand steadfast in the power of good.

Last Sunday was Clergy Appreciation Day and I hope you took some time to express your gratitude to your pastor, priest or spiritual leaders. (It’s still not too late.) Our members also reflected on people in our lives who have been our spiritual teachers. I remember my grandmother, we called her Nana, who was a devout Christian Scientist. Her teachings have definitely shaped my own ministry and my life. From her, I learned that God is Love and that God is good. She also taught me that when I focus on my spiritual life, miracles happen, healing comes. She taught me that we cannot separate our spiritual life from our daily life.

Today, my spiritual teachers and leaders come from many religions. I am in awe of, and respect, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, who says, “My religion is kindness.” He taught me that there is great truth in all religions, and we should look for and find the good in all of them. They are all paths to finding God.

I also admire Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun, who founded the Missionaries of Charity, and taught us that no one is so low that they should die alone. She searched out dying people in the streets of India and took them all in her arms. She looked for and saw the good in everyone. For her great compassion and love, she was canonized in 2016 as Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Both of these spiritual leaders were recognized by the world and were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for looking for and finding good.

Another Nobel Peace Prize winner I admire and respect is South African Anglican Cleric, Desmond Tutu. He says, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” That is why it is so important for us to turn back to looking for and finding the good. Working together, we can change the world for good. Doing a good deed everyday is still a wonderful teaching. Desmond Tutu was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-apartheid and civil rights work.

There are many other spiritual teachers in my life, as there are in yours. Sometimes the good comes in the form of a stranger and other times from those we have known for years. The good can be a kind deed, a smile, a pat on the back, a shoulder to cry on, a shared time in nature in silence, or a noisy celebration. All of these are examples of looking for and seeing the good together.

We can also be the good for others. Every time we find our thoughts straying into the turmoil others are trying to cause in the world, we can stop, take a calming breath, open our hearts to God and look for and find the good. It’s not always easy, but so important to do. Every good thought, word, and deed adds to the good of the world and soon we shall find ourselves living in that good.

If you don’t believe that the world is good, go back to the first chapter of Genesis in the Bible and in other sacred scriptures to the beginning of the Creation story and read once more, “And God saw that it was good.” Everything that God created is and was and ever shall be — good.

May you turn once again toward the good and reactivate your spiritual life. It is a great resource in these times and will bring you comfort and healing. Our spiritual life is not separate from the rest of our life. We are all spiritual beings of good.

Dr. Arlyn Macdonald is the Senior Minister of the Spiritual Awareness Center and Dean of the Spiritual Development Institute. Her new book of blessings and ceremonies, “Celebrate!,” will be released in November.

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