We go to a restaurant, look at the menu and we begin to hunt. to search. What are we looking for? Ingredients. Elements that get our attention - they engage our minds and our palates, they get the juices in our mouths flowing and they address a deep need. Hunger.
Maybe we choose by what we're most interested in or maybe we choose by price or nutritional value, but no matter what our reason is we choose something. we order it. we eat it. usually we're satisfied.
I'm confronted more and more every day by the acute search most people are on. The search for a satisfied hunger, for a menu item that will satisfy that deep down longing for taste and richness and, frankly, for goodness.
Where is the goodness in our world, apart from what makes us happy or satisfies our physical needs?
Where is the goodness in our relationships, apart from getting what we want out of others and not having too much required of us in return?
Where is the goodness in our material possessions, apart from the belief that we can never have enough and what we do have must be upgraded?
Each of these questions and the hundreds of others all point their laser-sights on one quality - one enduring and eternal quality that is misnamed, misused, and abused on a daily basis.
Goodness. We are all search for good in a cosmic order that tells us "good enough" or "good for you" or even to "be good" are the highest ways of living.
I'm convinced that the beginning of our character transformation - the beginning of becoming a practicing disciple of Jesus - starts with grasping just what goodness is.
The rich young man approached Jesus as "good teacher." Jesus deflected that praise and said "no one is good but God." (Mark 10:18)
So goodness is God.
Goodness is God's will being done.
Goodness is God providing even when we aren't sure He is.
Goodness is the breaking sunshine through the windows of abuse and addiction.
Goodness is the son of God and the Spirit of God moving ordinary broken folks to extraordinary lives in the real world.
More than anything - goodness is real. It is possible and probable and present here and now. If our story of God has nothing to do with goodness, we've been told a lie. A fable. If we believe that God has nothing to do with goodness, we've been blinded to the very real presence of Jesus.
It's time to reclaim goodness. And have our hungers satisfied.