Seeking the Good
Written by Cherie Olivier on September 2, 2020
Have you ever bought a new car, and then all of a sudden you see the same make and model of your new car everywhere? I never knew there were so many white mid-size SUVs on the road.
I never noticed the cars before because, well, I wasn’t looking for them. But now that I have a white SUV, at some level my mind is focused on that, and now I notice those cars a lot more than any other car on the road until I bought mine a few years ago.
What we focus on mentally is what we will notice in the world. If we focus on negativity, we will find it.
If we think our coworker doesn’t pull their weight, we will notice every instance where they pass off responsibility onto someone else or do the bare minimum in their job.
If we think someone is dishonest, we will be quick to point out every instance where they aren’t as truthful as they should be.
If we think someone is mean-spirited, we will find examples of their meanness.
My grandmother used to say people will find a problem with anything if they look hard enough. I think she was right. What we focus our minds and our hearts on, we will find.
2020 has been a doozy. There has been no shortage of sadness, loss, tragedy, violence, and negativity this year. We have had plenty of opportunities to wallow in all of the misfortune and heartbreak that has befallen this year.
But here’s the thing: if we focus on the negativity that is going on in our lives, in our neighborhoods, in our jobs, in our churches, in our country, we will never stop seeing it.
People find what they are looking for. If we expect to be hurt, we will be hurt. If we expect to be offended, then we will find plenty of things to take offense with. If we expect to be betrayed, we will find plenty of reasons to never trust others.
But what if, for the rest of 2020, we decided to focus on the positive? What if, like the Zach Williams song goes, we told 2020 that “there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy”? What would we find?
I think we would find more instances of people helping each other. We would find more examples of kindness. We would see people trying their hardest. We would offer a lot more grace, and probably receive it in return.
In the gospel of Matthew, Christ tells us to seek the kingdom of heaven, and we will find it. While seeking the kingdom of heaven means spending time in God’s word and time in prayer and communication with God, I think another way of seeking His kingdom is training our focus when we are outside of our quiet time with the Lord as well.
This doesn’t mean we ignore injustice or let others mistreat us or those around us. It means that while we acknowledge our world is broken and hurting, we are still looking for ways that God is moving.
If we seek out goodness, we will find it. And finding goodness in this crazy hurting world might just be how God wants to grant us peace in the chaos.
There are four months left in 2020. Will you look for the good with me?
“Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you.” -Matthew 7:7