2:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I sit in a chair, wrapped up in a blanket and lost in thought.
Are sleepless nights something that only the privileged experience? Do women in slums in Pakistan experience sleepless nights of worry, or are they too exhausted from the physical labor required that they grab whatever sleep they can?
I find odd comfort in the book of Kings. For those not familiar, these are books in the Old Testament. They are full of blood shed and violence, full of stories of tragedies, full of the sordid tales of leaders and others doing evil things. Game of Thrones, from all I’ve heard, has nothing on the book of Kings.
These books tell the narrative of the different Kings of Israel and Judah. They begin with David’s death and sweep us through history looking at every single King. I’ve no idea what scholars say about the books of Kings but it strikes me that the theme is simple; really simple.
Either they did what was good, or they did what was evil. There is no ambiguity. We are told their names and immediately after their names we have an assessment of their lives. They either chose to do right or they chose to do wrong.
Could it be that simple? Could it be that I complicate my life far more than I need when it’s really about choosing God and good, or choosing to not choose God and not choose good? About refusing evil and choosing good?
Could it be that in the middle of these worldwide tragedies that are so far away in distance, and yet so close to all of us in terms of news reports, that what I am called to is to do good? An earthquake in Iran; Rohingya refugees; an ongoing crisis in Syria – yet in my fairly comfortable little corner, I am called to do good?
Is it that simple?
And what is “good”?
Even as I ask the question, I know.
To do good means to love my neighbors, something that I find inordinately difficult.
To do good means to take that second and third step out of my way to connect with the homeless on my streets. To do good means to get to know their names.
To do good means to do my job well, with excellence, even when I’m tired or bored.
To do good means to love and pray for my family, to reach out across distance and miles.
To do good means to open my home to others – for meals, for coffee, for tears, for friendship.
To do good means to seek God in everything.
It may not not make headlines, but doing good rarely does.
Today the prayer of my heart is that I choose to do good.