theres good news today…


© photo by michelle bryant

I’m going to give away my age here when I mention a song you might have heard recorded by Anne Murray called “A little good news.” The lyrics went something like this:

“I rolled out this morning
Kids had the mornin’ news show on
Bryant Gumbel was talkin’ ’bout the fighting in Lebanon
Some senator was squawkin’ ’bout the bad economy
It’s gonna get worse you see, we need a change in policy

There’s a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story’s one more than I can stand
Just once how I’d like to see the headline say
“Not much to print today, can’t find nothin’ bad to say”, because

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single buildin’ down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

I’ll come home this evenin’
I’ll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care…

Clearly we are to think about the good things in our life. Fill your minds with loveliness. Think about what is true: (family, love, loyalty), about what is right: (friendships, honesty, freedom) about what is pure: (a newborn baby, a fresh picked peach from your garden, a walk in the park, crisp mountain air), whatever is lovely: (your bride, your children, a field of flowers, a sunset over the ocean), whatever is admirable: (your husband, a soldier that’s just returned home, a single mother, a father working two jobs), whatever is excellent or worthy of praise. I like to sum it up to say whatever is beautiful– think on these things. Your list may be different than mine but I promise, if you look, you’ll find the beauty in your life. Focus on those things. There is so much ugly in the world. Focus on the beautiful.It peaked at # 74 on the Pop chart in 1983 while hitting #1 on the Country chart. I think it did so well because it had a message that everyone could relate to. Yet, it was a song that filled our hearts with both hope and doubt at the same time. Hope that maybe- just maybe it could happen but doubt that it ever would. Mostly because of the reality of the world we lived in. Even in the 1980’s, when it was recorded, before cyberspace and cell phones, at the dawn of microwaves and microchips we were still filled with doubt yet yearning for hope. In the twenty-first century we are no different. We still hold out for hope. We still seek [through means we deem viable] Good News. I want to let you know that there is good news today! It goes beyond the glass half full or half empty theory, beyond tarot cards, rabbit’s feet or four leaf clovers. The Bible is full of Good News but one specific passage I frequently find comfort in simply states: Finally, brothers, 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 (Philipians 4:8).

Throughout the day, especially when I’m down and out, I find myself listing the lovely, looking for the true, pure, goodness in my little world. I often steer my mind toward these things. And believe it or not, where there once was doubt, I find solace and peace and it comforts me to know there is hope – especially on those days when I really could use a little good news.

© michelle bryant

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