A few friends and I gathered at my house last Friday to watch a live broadcast of Time Out For Women. This is a women's conference that travels around the United States, and now and then ventures throughout the world also. The speakers give inspiring messages to women struggling with all types of challenges. And let's face it - we all have challenges, no matter how together things are right at the moment.
Sheri Dew, one of my favourite speakers, gave a fantastic address about women in church. Many churches, including mine, face criticism when it comes to women's roles. Sheri talked about an interview she did for a European article, and how she faced the question of "feeling oppressed in a patriarchal church." Her response was quick, witty, poignant and overflowing with truth. Her answers came at firing speed and in the end the interviewer had to cede.
But I digress. This year's conference theme was "Seek the Good." There are times when the smallest of thoughts grab hold in your mind and need no further explanation from outside sources to bloom into the fullest blossomed tree. That's what "seek the good" did for me. We live in a time that is often characterized by negativity. Natural disasters and calamities, the degenerate generation of youth, morals going to "hell in a handbasket." The culture of fear we have created smothers growth and makes us want to turn inward, building a protective shell around our innocent and delicate families.
Seek the good. So much in so few words. First, the "good." With the idea of seeking the good comes the reminder that there is indeed much good out there. Media plays such a huge role in hyping up the bad things that happen around the world. Is there really more crime, more poverty, more problems, more disasters than ever before, or are we just hearing about them more and more often? 200 years ago, you didn't hear about a murder in a town on the other side of the country. Nobody watched the glut of images being replayed over and over again of a hurricane or flood. But that's beside the point. All the bad things aside, there is still a lot of good things and a lot of good people out there.
The second thought is "seek." The phrase "seek the good" allows for the idea that sometimes in our lives, the good doesn't fall in our laps, but must be sought out. Seeking is not sitting in one spot and waiting for something good to happen to me. I am not a creature that simply exists to be acted upon, but I have the ability to act for myself. I need to get up out of my own little corner and do a little work. Finding the good will happen at first just by lifting up my head, opening my eyes, and looking around me. But more than that, when I start to seek around corners, in hidden pockets, and under the veil of trials, tears, and sorrows, I will find even more good.
Seek the Good. I think I'm going to create an art piece to hang in my home as a reminder that every day I want to seek the good around me. Life is a lot better when I do.
And because that Time Out for Women slogan was so good, I went back and sought out the slogans they have used in the past, just to inspire a little more goodness today.
"Seek the Good"
"Choose to Become"