Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What’s Good?


Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

…speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Ephesians 5:19a

Trendy phrases are not usually my friend. I love words. I take great delight in clever uses of words and phrases. Rarely do I ever embrace a trend that minimizes the meaning of great word or maximizes a small one. I’m still struggling not to cringe every time I hear the word, “selfie.” Lord, deliver me!  

          So, imagine my surprise when I was taken by a new and somewhat odd greeting. “What’s good?” I heard it first on a television show and was right in step with the character who, on receiving that greeting, needed it explained to her. At first I just found it odd. “What’s good?” sounds like something you ask a server in a restaurant. “So, what’s good here? Ah, the meatloaf. Okay.”

          On further inspection and exposure I’m now hoping this greeting not only catches on but is taken seriously.  I hope that unlike its predecessor, “how are you?” which can end in a benign response, that “what’s good?” will cause people to stop and think.  What is good? At this moment in time, in my life, what is good?

          The question leaves no room for a litany of woes. It does not open the door for “Ugh, it’s Monday!” or “I’m hanging in there.” as does, “How are you?” What’s good, asks the hearer to think and respond with something positive.

          Put yourself as the recipient of that question. “What’s good?” Maybe you’re on your way to the meeting you think will end your job. Or, maybe you’ve just come from the doctor who’s ordered more tests or the bank where the loan was denied. Worse, maybe you’re experiencing a little of all of the above. What’s good? Not much! Oh, but wait, what’s good? The sun is shining. I’m still here, breathing. I have people who love me.  Oh and someone just cared enough about me to stop and ask, “What’s good?”

          Even on the worst day, the day that looks a lot like the passage in Habakkuk 3:17-18, when there are no crops, no livestock and nothing is going right, you can respond, God, God is good. Habakkuk after listing all of his calamities says, “yet, I will rejoice in the Lord.”

                    It may feel trendy and odd but ask someone today, “What’s good?”  The question suggests a positive answer and that positive answer will brighten the day of the responder and the hearer.