God's good is unfolding here and now

Look back in time, and good can seem a memory. Look ahead, and it can seem a hope. But good is more concrete than either, and more at hand than both.

Have you ever been tempted to go on a nostalgia binge— to relive what are sometimes referred to as "the good old days"? Or have you attempted to look forward by trying to guess what will happen, experiencing either anticipation or apprehension in the process?

In the case of the backward glance, you may have discovered that what promised to be a joyous mental journey through former times was somewhat disappointing. True, some recollections were happy. But were they sometimes clouded over with reminiscences of mistakes made? And as these accumulated in thought, did they perhaps override the felicitous effects of the more pleasant recollections? As for the look into the future, the apprehensions may have overcome the anticipations to such an extent that eventually you found yourself saying with Job, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me." Job 3:25.

Exploring what we humanly perceive as the past—or the future, for that matter—is, to say the least, not generally productive of progress. The solution, of course, is not in doing away with all memories any more than in refusing to make any plans for the future! However, actively and stubbornly exploring the past or conjecturing about the future may well prevent us from experiencing a joy-filled, constructive present.

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Good morning!
October 10, 1988

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