Dearly Beloved Readers and Listeners: Thank you for the many positive responses to last week's audio recording of the blog. I've included an audio recording at the end of this week's piece as well. For those who subscribe by email, visit www.darianduckworth.com/musings if you would like to listen. There will be no blog post next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Know that I count you among "all good things" as we pause to give extra thanks this week.
In August of 2011, I attended a weeklong workshop at the Collegeville Institute entitled, "Writing and the Pastoral Life." Shortly after returning home, I reflected on my experiences there in a blog post. Or, perhaps a more accurate description is to say that I gushed about my experiences. Have you ever traveled somewhere that had such beautiful sights and memorable experiences that you struggled to describe them to people who weren't there? That's how I felt when I tried to write about my time at the institute.
Four years later, I still gush about that week.
I still struggle for words to describe how good the time was.
So I say that it was "all good stuff."
While not the most elegant of phrases, "all good stuff" became part of my signature on blog posts, letters, and emails. At first, I added a few other words: grace, peace, joy, blessings, etc. Then in sermon preparation one week, I read the following verse in the Common English translation of the Bible:
I had spent a week sharing all good things with fellow teachers and preachers of the Word. We had taught one another, and "all good stuff" became "all good things," There is little difference between the two phrases, but they express the same sentiment. There is so much in life that we can call "good." For all that stuff and those things, we thank the Source of goodness.
The origin of "all good things" is not only one verse of Scripture. It's not one workshop in Minnesota. The origin of all good things is the One who declared this world, "good," with the words of creation. No matter how evil or tumultuous our world may seem right now, let us remember that God is good. God loves us. God created us to do good and to love each other.
As we enter the Advent season, I encourage you to set aside time to name all the good stuff in your life: past, present, and future. Name those experiences. Share those stories. Turn your gaze toward the heavens and away from the screens. Tell the Lord, "You are good." Hear him say in return, "So are you."
all good things to each of you,