Good Things

James, in the biblical letter that bears his name, wrote that “every good gift is from above,” from God (James 1:17). How, then, do we get more God? One way to experience more of him is implied in this statement. We can know more of God and have more of God by recognizing and appreciating more good things.

In seeking good gifts to recognize in this way, we are bound to consider the physical blessings first. We who are fortunate have food, shelter, family, health—the physical blessings alone are rich, and comprise a long list.

But then you move past the physical blessings. There is even more if you look further, seeking to recognize the abstract blessings that are little seen and aren’t often named. In recognizing these good things, you uncover even more of the desires of God’s nature, even more of the richness of his provision, and even more of the depth and nuance of the work that he is doing.

I look for good things to recognize, and I find that I am both blessed and astonished to realize that I have been given….

A soul

Autonomy

A history of experience that seems to be adding up to something

Uniqueness

This particular present moment

Awareness of him

Time

Finite time, with the promise of something beyond it

History, as a shared context for my connection to other people

Other people

This sense we all have that we are engaged in a story, even a common story

A role. A place in this thing God is doing (whatever it is!)

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[PS. The letter of James is quite likely the earliest New Testament text. The letter is, to use a theologically imprecise description, pretty cool. Explore that letter here.]