These words come from a section of Scripture in Romans, Chapter 12. And I suppose you don't have to be a Believer to embrace them, but it sure helps to know that there is a Sovereign God who not only controls the world, but prescribes how we are to react to it.
While I cannot change another's actions, I can determine how I will react to it. But I have to admit, I am human. I'm filled with anger and righteous indignation when confronted with the images of Evil. And there certainly seems to be more evil in the world than good these days. It can definitely be an effort to not let it consume me.
Sometimes it seems hard to imagine that we will ever experience the "good life" again. Remember as children, when our summers were filled with community activities like wiffle ball games in the neighborhood vacant lot, or croquet tournaments in your grandparents' back yard? When the entire block gathered together for barbecues and the kids couldn't wait for night-time to gather fireflies in glass jars? Will our kids or grandkids ever have the chance to experience such carefree days? Have we lost our sense of community?
Yes, times have changed and technology has not always been our friend. It has created a generation of kids who are losing the art of what it means to communicate true thoughts, feelings and emotions. That involves looking into another's eyes, hearing the inflection of their voice, and seeing how they carry their body ... none of which is conveyed in a text message. So, as our ability to connect as humans seems to be on the decline, just how do we hold fast to what is Good?
I think it has to be in the small things. And it takes some effort to look for it. It is in the celebration of life events, such as the impending birth of my first great-niece. It's in the step from childhood to adulthood as I console my sister and encourage her daughter following the emotional drop-off at the college dorm. As my sister drives away, with tears in her eyes, I remind her that this is a passage of life that she shared with me when she and my dad dropped me off all those long years ago. Now she knows what our parents felt as we left the nest. And I tell my niece that I identify with her fears and doubts as she saw her mother drive off. But I tell her that I found college to be a wonderful time in my life; a time when I discovered that I wanted to be a person who made a difference, and I know she will find her own way, too. I find the good in her hopeful enthusiasm and in her thanks for my pep talk, and most of all, in her heartfelt expression of love.
Psalm 27:13 "I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!"