Tonight I just had to ask, what exactly is good?
There are a lot of things that I think are good. My husband, painting, my family, my neighbors and friends, the food I eat, bourbon, dancing, jamming on the porch...the list could go on for days. But how do I know that these things are good?
I was taught by my parents that I should examine the "fruit" to know what something is. Raised as Christians, we looked to stories of Jesus to understand how to discern what is good and what is bad. I remember as a kid, my dad asked me to look at the fruit of a friendship I had. This friendship was obviously a bad one. I wasn't ready to call it that, but when I realized that what I was getting out of it was exhaustion, worry and sometimes jealousy, this was one that I needed to let go or reexamine. It was clear that it did not bear good fruit.
If you return to scripture to find out what God thought was good you will find the simplicity of this goodness is profound. (Check out Genesis 1:1-31 for the full details) God created everything in the world, everything that we know and are. The story tells us that God made earth and ocean and it was good. Then he made seed and fruit bearing plants and they were good. Then he made day and night, light and dark and saw that it was good. Next came animals of every kind. Birds of the air, fish of the sea, creatures of the land and human beings in his own image. They were all good. Scripture says, "God looked over everything he made and it was good, so very good."
This evening I walked through my backyard. I wandered the small paths between our garden beds and looked over the fruit bearing plants that I had tucked into the dirt this spring. I am so pleased with them. I found myself saying out loud, "You are good, so very good" as I passed each plant. Each plant seemed like a marvel to me.
The corn is growing plump in it's husks, tomatoes are ripening on the vine, cucumbers bulge out of their prickly beginnings, the beans spills over the nets while the squash blossoms transform into horns of plenty. I was holding 4 quail eggs in my hand as I passed the chicken coop where the girls were snuggled together on their highest roosting branch cooing at one another. All around the garden beds are wildflowers bursting into brightly colored blooms. This is good, so very good.
I have a little garden that I planted and I know that it is a good thing in my life. What's more incredible is that I sometimes think of it as mine. The truth is, this is God's garden, this whole place is God's creation and he poured goodness into it. Do we know how to experience it? These are simple things: night, day, sky, sea, animals, friends and for those who believe in a Maker, this creator made it very clear that these things he brought to life are good. I think so too. This is so good.
|Look at the fruit|