The good you do through the gift you are

I look forward to this time of year when I see many of you feeling the excitement of graduation and taking the next step on your journey of life. Congratulations to you all! It’s been a long road, you have worked hard, studied well, learned much and you have done your best. Now it’s time for you to share with the world the good you do through the gift you are. 

Some of you will begin careers in your field of study (yes, time to go to work), and some of you will continue your education (it never ends). Whatever next steps you choose continue your good work and keep learning. The important thing here is that you do the good you know. Reflect on the lyrics of this song, “Do The Good You Know,” by Mike Wilson:

“Do the good you know. Let compassion show.
You can’t save the world alone, but you can do the good you know.
We all have sorrow. We all have pain.
Sometimes our sunshine turns into rain.

When someone falls right next to you,
Then you must do what you can do.
It makes a difference. This much we know.
One act of kindness can save one soul.

So do the thing you know is right.
Then you will see and be the light.
Yes, you can do the good you know.”

Know that you are good because God is good. God is just not good one day and then not so good the next. He is always good. He will always do what is good and best for you because He is completely good. That is perfection and God is asking us to seek this same perfection. “So be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). 

Many of us try to fill this longing for perfection with things from this world. Having the coolest stuff and the latest fashions are not going to cut it. Remember, detaching yourself from stuff yields the great gift of humility. Trying to be the most popular in class or the star of the sports field or the stage won’t do it either. Turning to drugs or alcohol? Never! Only God can fill your longing for perfection.

The world around us is filled with so much bad news. Sometimes finding good in others is difficult. It seems that the world only wants to hear the bad that happens to others. Thankfully, there is much good around us. We only need to open our eyes to see it, beginning with ourselves. Social media has allowed many of us to witness and share the good that others do. Some of it goes viral — I believe that’s a good thing. But, what should we learn from this? Simply, do our own good for others. Don’t leave it just for others to do! 

Doing the good we do through the gift we are lets us also not forget to be thankful people. God is always teaching us to be thankful for the so many blessings we have: home, family, friends, food, clothes, education, health, talents, abilities and so much more. Every blessing comes from God. Have you ever tried counting how many good things God has filled your life with? I would imagine they are countless. God is already blessing you for the next challenges in your life.

We worry about what the future holds for us. Why do we do that? Worry is the result of imagining a future without God in it. Your best defense against this worry is to stay in touch with God by talking to Him, and, just as important, listening to Him. So, as you plan your next steps, whether looking for a job or continuing your education, keep these two rules in mind: First, don’t spend very much time thinking about the future. It only brings worry and anxiety. Second, always include God in your thoughts, words and actions. Don’t just imagine what you will do — imagine what God can do.

What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God. Be pleased with your accomplishments. God is! 

Anchor columnist Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts