A Beetle Bailey comic strip had General Halftrack reading the newspaper and asking his young and beautiful secretary to confirm things today aren't like they were in the good old days. She replied that she would not know, because for her the good old days were last week.
The year 2000 for millions of people will in future years be referred to as "the good old days." We who refer to the early 1900s as such are not thinking of axle-deep mud roads, winter trips to the outhouse or washing clothes on a scrub board. It is more apt to be of picnics in the park, family get-togethers, safe communities and freedom of movement.
What was good was, is and will be what is good for people and communities -- peace, liberty, safety, healthfulness and spiritual values.
There are many good people in the community, some of whom are not religiously motivated. This is so all over the world. But the kind of good that can lift humanity to a worldwide respect and protection of all human life and resources is the good that comes from a right relationship with God. The Bible is a spiritual book and reveals that goodness is to be for the glory of God.
In the book of Mark (chapter 10:17-23) a man searching for eternal life addressed Jesus as "Good Teacher." Jesus responded that no one is good but God alone, and beyond keeping the commandments one should follow Him. In Matthew (chapter 5) after giving the Beatitudes including being merciful, pure in heart and peacemakers, Jesus said to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians (6:9-10) to not grow weary in well-doing, and "as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.:" John Wesley (England 1703-1791) had a "rule" to follow that followed Paul's words. "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."
Traditionally a new year is a time for making resolutions. To be alive at the beginning of a new millennium is an occasion for a far greater decision -- a personal commitment to do good, to be good as God is and reveal good. May all of our todays be worthy to become "the good old days."
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