You can be sure that’s exactly what you’ll find.
What we focus on shapes and colors our world. Like “Where’s Waldo?” in the kids’ book section, we can train our eyes and ears to see and hear whatever we want, even when it’s hidden in obscurity in the middle of a puzzle.
Philippians 4:8 dares us to focus on, meditate on, concentrate on and seek out the good in life. “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8
It is desperately important for us to search out the truth. When has there ever been so many lies and half-truths? We are drowning in misinformation and meaningless tidbits of nonsense. But we can ask God to reveal the truth that rises above that cesspool, always and forever unchanging and certain.
We can look for nobility–not in the royal lineage of kings and queens–but in the poorest people giving the most, the sickest people complaining the least, the true heroes that never seek applause.
We can search out purity–of hearts, of smiles, of the blue sky, gray sky, hurricanes or gentle breezes, from the joy that comes not from a bottle or another person or riches or fame but from the love that comes first from God and then gets passed on from person to person, a pure gift that is wonderfully contagious and infectious.
We must look for and aid justice–in our courts and governments, in our homes and businesses and especially in our relationships, justice extended to everyone.
We are blessed beyond measure when we look for loveliness–in the lonely old man’s timid smile as he dares to look you in the eyes as he passes you at Walmart, in a child offering you the gift of a pebble retrieved from his driveway, in an old memory that comes unbeckoned but oh-so-sweet.
We need to listen for anything that is of good report–and then pass it on. If someone does something good, congratulate them and tell others about it. No matter how small the accomplishment, notice it and compliment that person. Never miss an opportunity to encourage someone, especially yourself.
Focus on whatever has virtue. Look for goodness and value everywhere; you’ll always find God at work there.
Turn your spotlight of attention on whatever is praiseworthy. When scanning the headlines or the horizon, pass quickly over the ugly, nasty, mean-spirited, negative news and wastelands until your eyes and ears rest on the good, praiseworthy miracles of life hiding in plain sight all around us.
If we only ask God to guide our eyes and ears and minds and souls to look for these good things, He will always show them to us, delighted to delight us, excited to enlighten and encourage us.
Amen and amen.