Call me narcissistic, I'm calling it thankful. I just spent an hour or so reading through this year's posts.

It seems apropos to do so, on the first day of this last month of 2010. In one month they'll hand out hundreds of slips of paper at my home church and mine will go back in the box, that's what they do with the absentees. Part of me is glad; I remember what I wrote on that slip of paper and it was nothing good.

So I guess I just wanted to know what this year shaped up to be. I guess I just wanted to know, akin to pinching myself, how did I end up here?

The truth is that I don't know and I'm not sure it even matters. Here's what I do know:

I know that God is good, which is odd, because that is the principle thing I struggled with this year and the one thing I said repeatedly when I dared open my mouth about the struggles of 2009-2010: God is not good.

And I am not saying that God is good because I have somehow reached the nirvana of spirituality or there is overflowing goodness in my life (take a look at my bank account, the broken shock in the back of my car, or the gnawing loneliness I feel sometimes). I'm saying God is good because I'm learning that God's goodness doesn't fluctuate based on the circumstances of my life or heart. God's goodness is continual and constant. God's goodness is present regardless of my health or wealth. And, most of all, God's goodness doesn't depend on my goodness toward Him.

This is life-changing for me.

It is life-changing for me because in the past I've been good because I wanted to see the goodness of God; like a barter system in my head, a tally-marked faith, I tried to rack up points to get Him on my side. It is life-changing for me because God is not only more interested in us seeing His glory, He is actually disinterested in our attempts to get our own. This puts things in perspective for me.

All my righteousness, filthy rags.
All my habitual deeds, garbage.
All my attempts to prove my worth to Him and others, junk.

But all my junk, gold.

Here's what I said to a friend the other day, but I didn't say it first: Jesus didn't come for the well, He came for the sick. And if I'm not sick, I have no need for his goodness to be displayed, no need for a hand reached down. I have a lot of junk and it all came out this year, every feeble, wobbly, gross, insecure, doubtful bit of it. My junk is the only thing that qualifies me for a glimpse of His goodness.

And if that's not good, I don't know what is.