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Good News or Bad News

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

Well since bad news is in abundant supply, let me give you some good news. Although what gains access to our neurons is not always in our control, what we choose to dwell on IS fully in our control. That’s good news. And the extent to which we discipline our thoughts is the extent to which we can be healthy.

We are only as healthy as our thoughts.

True health is within the grasp of those who choose to discipline their thinking.

Do you dwell on things that are out of your control? The war in Europe, the person in the white house, the non-synced traffic lights on 12th? I am guilty of all of these! In the process of feeding my brain garbage, my imagination gets hijacked. I catastrophize.

And yet St. Paul admonishes us: “ Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.” (Philippians 4:8)

This is a much better use of our brainwaves!

I occasionally get asked why I write about the subjects that I do. Why would I read a book about donkey racing and write about it? Why would I write about a chubby kid in a Speedo at a swim-meet playing the Star-Spangled Banner on the trumpet? Why write about an American family that lived in Norway for a year? (The last one is still to come, after I finish reading it.)

Why indeed?

I can hear some of you saying, listen pal, I just want my back to feel better. I understand. Pain has a way of hijacking our imaginations as well, and it is easy to dwell on pain because it is so real. It is ours and we don’t want it. I understand that too.

Here is my advice: when in pain DO NOT put garbage into your head. Blow up your TV, throwaway your paper, whatever you have to do, and find something noble, right and good to stick into your melon.

The guiding principle for our office has been the following quote from my favorite American writer.

Here it is:

“In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed…

In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”

― William Saroyan, The Time of Your Life

Before you dismiss this advice as being out of touch with the real world, consider that it was written in 1939. Our country was in a 10-year economic slump known as the great depression, Hitler had begun his march across Europe, a mass exodus had begun from the south to California because the parched land had become a Dust Bowl. I could go on, but I think you get it.

There is no shortage of bad news. There is no shortage of pain and suffering. There is no shortage of fear and anxiety. We live in an abundant time! An abundance of strife!!

Good news on the other hand is within our grasp, we just need to cultivate the habit of looking for it. Because what we think about matters. What we think about determines how we live and what we live for. What we think about determines our level of health.

I am not asking you to bury your head in the sand. Rather I’m asking you to pull your head OUT of the sand! Start looking for what is good and right and true to place in your head and then share it. It is a skill worth cultivating. It is a skill that requires discipline. It is a skill that will improve your quality of life more than anything else. The bad news factory will always be with us. Look past it and around it.

Let me know what you find.

Happy hunting!



10 Join the Conversation

  1. Amy says
    May 13, 2023 at 4:45 AM

    Fantastic perspective, great advice.

    • says
      May 15, 2023 at 10:47 AM

      Glad you are reading and chiming in! Cheers, KS

  2. Rebecca says
    May 13, 2023 at 6:26 AM

    Very true. Thank you for the reminder. God is in control. A devotion I read in which God is speaking asked why I was trying to take over His responsibilities and to stop. He is the Light of the World, and I need to focus on Him.

    • says
      May 15, 2023 at 10:46 AM

      Right on! Cheers, KS

  3. Susan C says
    May 13, 2023 at 2:14 PM


    • says
      May 15, 2023 at 10:45 AM

      Thank you and thank you for reading our stuff! Cheers, KS

  4. Greg H says
    May 13, 2023 at 2:23 PM

    This is really well written Ken, and fun to read as well. Not only fun, but so true. As I go about my day and week amidst the world events and news updates,I try to continually rehearse, why would I spend time worrying about what I don't get to control, which will change every 24 hours, when I can digest what Jesus and the word gives me, which never changed, never will, and is true every day. Appreciate you Ken, and your commitment to health and well being of the total person, head to toe, and everything inside!

    • says
      May 15, 2023 at 10:45 AM

      Thank you so much for chiming in and we all need to rehearse those exact words. Cheers, KS

  5. Sandra says
    May 16, 2023 at 4:35 PM

    Thank you so much! So easy to get stuck in the bad.

    • says
      May 16, 2023 at 9:48 AM

      Thank you so much for reading and responding. I hope this is an encouragement and we really appreciate you chiming in. Cheers, ks

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