The other day I was on the phone with a friend and colleague and he asked, “Well, how are you doing?” Without much thought I replied, “I’m good.”  How’s Pine Shores?  “Good”, I said.  How are you handling this weird COVID stuff? “Good.” How’s Karen? “Super Good.”  How you feeling? (That’s usually asked by those friends in my same age group.)  “Good”, I said.  How’s Lindsay and Sam?  “They are good.  Everything is good.”
After the conversation ended, I noticed how often I responded with the word “good.” I never said okay or too good. In fact I was startled in realizing how many time I used the word good in answering his questions. It was like I had blinking neon T-shirt on that read “Life is Good.”
I started thinking about the word “good” and I’ll suggest that most of you (because there are a few among the Beloved of Pine Shore who just like to argue) would agree that the word “good” has a positive connotation. “Good” means something more or better than okay or fine. The word “good” asserts that your personal situation or the events surrounding you is favorable. Ordinarily when you describe your state of being as “good” you suggest that your personal situation is positive. Just in case… I am good.  Don’t worry. No seriously. I’m good – promise.
On my thinking chair, (which by the way seems to be Molly’s, the ever excitable and exceptionally smart puppy’s favorite spot to now sneak onto just to mess with me) I realized that by using the word “good” so causally, I sometimes disengage from meaningful conversation and that is not good.
How are you doing? It’s a question that matters and you have people in your life who care and who listen.

Scripture Reading: James 1:19-20
“You must understand this, my beloved let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”

Reflection Questions:
How are you doing?
Who can you talk to?
Who needs your listening ear?

Prayer: Holy God, I’m grateful for the people in my life who offer their gift of listening. Let me continually be surrounded in their care.  For I dwell in your goodness. Amen.

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