Inspiring Goodness

Palm Sunday – Encountering God’s Goodness

Have you ever had an encounter with God that left you in tears because you understood the power of His goodness?  I will never forget the first time I watched Passion of the Christ a few years ago and how it brought me into the life of Christ in such a powerful way.  I watched Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem to accomplish the Paschal Mystery, His passion and resurrection with fresh eyes.  Seeing Jesus portrayed in His humanity and divinity brought home for me the magnitude of suffering, rejection, and betrayal He faced.  I may start my Spiritual Director’s practice of watching this movie on Good Friday.  Will you join us?

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How Happy Are You?

Entertaining the wrong questions in our mind can be destructive.  It may seem harmless when we start playing the what if game.  What if I had a different job? What if I had more money? What if I did not have this situation in my life?  Would life be better? 

First, this kind of thinking steals our joy and robs us of the inner peace we have around the blessings in our life.  Second, asking what if plants seeds of doubt in our mind about God’s goodness.  It is easy to start running down the rabbit trail of questioning, does He really want what is best for me?  Does He understand?  Evil is subtle and wants us to rebel against God and doubt His unconditional love for us.  It is usually a gradual process and over time, if left unchecked, can lead us far away from the truth and how we were meant to live.  It takes us into the future versus seeing what is in front of us today where we can bring love and compassion to those in front of us. The love and compassion we can bring to the person in front of us, each moment, is being the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.

When we entertain the wrong questions in our mind, we shift our gaze off God’s goodness.  This is a symptom of our human condition and free will. 

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Focus on His truth, 2 Corinthians 11:3

Two years ago during one of my husband’s six-month check-ups from his bladder cancer in 2008, his blood tests indicated he had developed myelodysplasia, a type of cancer in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells and there are abnormal cells in the blood.  It was easy for me to go into all the what if’s and worst-case scenarios rather than deal with the facts at hand.  It was during the Christmas season, such a joyful time of year in our family.  Evil was tugging at me trying to drag me into fear.  Instead of falling into that trap, I pulled out the tool of music to shift my perspective. As I listened to Look Up Child  by Lauren Daigle, I would remember to lift my heart and eyes to focus on His Goodness and stand solid in the fact that he’s got this and is in control.

Another handy tool I used was the Serenity prayer which anchors me in surrender and acceptance:  God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  You can learn more about the Serenity Prayer, its history and the timeless solution it provides here.

Goodness embodies love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Fruits of the Spirit, which are given to each of us, are for the asking.  God is thirsting for us to talk to Him about our needs, wants, desires, and invite Him into our hearts.  I often need to claim this gift of self-control around my thoughts and the what ifs.  When I do so, I am a much more pleasant wife, mother, and friend. 

Today I chose to be happy. 

I think Abraham Lincoln has it right when he said “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Wishing you a happy  week.