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I've known she's been dying for quite some time and (dare I confess?) no remorse has gnawed away at these insides, no aching sadness slowly draining. Just a happy relief washes over me when I think of it. Frankly, she needed to go, her demise long overdue.
Rest in peace, my Drama Queen. You who listened to the news and ranted and raved. You who dove into online theological polemics, internally wrangling wildly, blood pressure rising. You who fell captive to crisis and commotion. Adieu. I do not mourn your passing.
For I discovered your impotence. Your absolute and utter inability to effect change. You held me rapt too long, riveting my attention horizontally, on those around me. All your fuss, your finger-pointing, your flapping about, distracted me from a vertical perspective. From Him who Reigns over all.
As you, eristical one, laggardly expire, I quiet. Peace comes softly. Old rankled skin molting, new contented life emerging, I'm discovering deep, universal change comes in surprising, unexpected ways.
Not in criticism, negativity, sensationalism. But in praise.
May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. Then theOur land will yield a good crop when the people praise. Our culture will produce bounty when we give thanks. Our nations will bear fruit when we exalt.
land will yield its harvest ... (Psalm 67:5-6).
So will this heart.
But does gratitude, praise, worship capture anyone's imagination, vision, life? Why do we find the good, the lovely, the beautiful so ... insipid? Why do we thirst for the bad, the ugly, the contentious ... and spew out the glory-worthy as bland?
Couldn't anyone use a little good news today?
Rod Dreher, a popular conservative columnist for the "Dallas Morning News," and author of "Crunchy Cons," recently wrote (in the comments of this post):
I blog about negative stuff for the same reason that newspapers aren't filled with good news: because "usually" (though not always), "good news" isn't that interesting to talk about.
I understand. I relate. It's a common consensus. Who can market gratitude, praise, good news?
Good News often seems less than compelling. I too have often brushed it aside, apathetic. I pray for grace to learn new ways:
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work ... (Romans 1:16).
Good news, praise, thanksgiving, exalting, this is the power of God at work. This is what will change our hearts. This is what will prosper our land, bless us with yield, bounty, harvest.
And, really, why wouldn't it? Because when we think on the lovely, the noble, the right, "whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy" (Philippians 4:8) ... we are thinking on very God Himself:
Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely (Psalm 135:3).He is lovely and all that is lovely in this cosmos reflects but the substance of Him. To think on the good is to think on God.
Yet we live in an upside-down, inverted world. We reject the praiseworthy as vapid and unremarkable. Boring. Juvenile.
And that which is scandalous, disagreeable, we find fascinating, intriguing, worthy of attention. Meriting discussion. An engagement for the intellects, the pundits. The lovely? Dismissed.
So it has always been:
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men ... (Isaiah 53:2-3).
We rejected Him once. Forbid we would again.
No, no grief as I bury my negativity. I'm done with my addiction to criticism, with my drama queen.
I whisper praise, this tongue's new language, and feel the land beneath my feet swell with abundance, the earth uprighted.
Loveliness, God, embraced.