40 Days of Seeing the Good in the World

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The season of Lent for many is a time to give something up. Many folks will refrain from eating chocolate or meat. Others will not watch television. I’ve seen posts on Facebook from a few friends relating that they are taking a social media sabbatical in order to help them focus on the way of Christ during this season of introspection.

These practices are all worthwhile. I must admit, however, that my attempts in the past have come with mixed results. One year I gave up sweets for Lent. By the end of the 40 days the staff, after putting up with my crankiness due to lack of donuts and cake, said with one voice, “Have a cookie. Please!” I’m pretty sure that Jesus never said, “And yea verily the world will know you by your grumpiness.”

This year I am going to focus on making affirmations. Every day I am going to affirm at least one person for something positive I see in the way they do their work, live their life or model what it means to be like Christ. Already today (as I type this column on Ash Wednesday morning) I have witnessed several great opportunities for affirmation. Just taking the time to look for the good in the world has reminded me that we are surrounded by amazing and beautiful people all of the time.

One a day won’t be hard to accomplish. Once I set a goal I’m pretty good about going after it. I’ll record the affirmations in my journal. No one else will see them but I like to assure myself that I am staying on track. 

In the long run though, what I am really trying to do is reorient my life toward God. Lent is a time to reflect. It is an opportunity to take an account of our lives, our faith, our dreams, even, to see if they line up with God’s desire for the world. This year’s goal is simple – make sure at least one person per day knows that I appreciate something about them. I pray that this simple path will help me to reaffirm over and over again the very word of heaven spoken by God when humans were created, “God saw everything made…and indeed, it was very good.”

Grace and peace to you,